You have shed your skin of separation anxiety, and like a new butterfly shakes its wings in sunlight, you frisk about & squeal with glee when it’s time for church. You march down the hallway and find your buddies – Miss Kayla and Miss Reid – and barely blink when I leave for my own class. This might make me sad, if it weren’t for the ebullience that greets me upon my return.
“Mama!” You jump.
“I paint!” You point to your artwork.
“I eat mallows!” You grin.
“I FUN!” Who could argue with that?
One constant in your life has been your joy, your boundless smile, your easy-going pleasure in the world. We see moments now and then when you show your stubborn Maxwell side; you occasionally share your sister’s glint in the eye as you set into mess-making; you relish in climbing, jumping, and playground-risk-taking. You’ve pitched a few fits and thrown a few tantrums over the last few months, but they are not the hurricanes of emotion that Susannah had. Nor are they like Jonas’ (two in his entire life) brief toddler tantrums. You, my dear, have summer storms of frustration. We see the dark clouds on the horizon and watch as a hot, hazy day becomes a thunder-boomer, rain splashing down in angry bursts. And then, as quickly as it brewed up, it passes away and and the clouds clear and the blue sky reigns again.
You are a talker…. Oh, my child. MY. CHILD. Yes, you are! You put together paragraphs that don’t sound like a two-year-old at all. You talk, and sing, and chant, and say nursery rhymes, and a nearly-complete recitation of the Lord’s Prayer, and you count to fifteen by rote and backwards from ten. You laid out napkins for dinner a few days ago, and we heard you say, “Nakkin ah Daddy, nakkin a Mama, nakkin a Sue-nannah, nakkin a Donas, an’ nakkin a Abi! Yay!” That’s one-to-one correspondence, kiddo, and I used to WORK to teach prekindergarteners how to do that. 🙂 You blow me away with your perceptive, sensitive mind. I mean, sure, with school happening in the “dining room” every day, you are being exposed to way more than the general two-year-old population.
It’s a gift, being the youngest. That’s what I’m saying. Sometimes it’s a challenge, I know. I see that. I was the oldest in my family and I didn’t really see the differences when I was growing up; but now as the mama, I see it. There are times when you are frustrated by the sheer unfairness of not being able to do all the awesome stuff that the big kids are doing. (But between you and me? There are times when you have a very cushy gig and you get away with stuff they didn’t, at your age. And I suspect that will continue for at least another couple of decades.)
I know there will be times that you fight with your sibs and times they don’t treat you right — but way more often than those, will be the times when you have eight arms ready to hug you, or pick you up if you get hurt. You have lots of voices to read you stories and sing you songs. You have folks to share secrets and inside jokes with. Plus, the youngest gets the parents who’ve done this a few times, so we’re a little calmer and a little wiser (I hope). I know there will be days you think it sucks… but it’s a gift, being the youngest.
I love you, Abigail Rose, and I always will.