gus · motherhood

Dear Gus {a love letter for seventeen months}

I admitted for the first time yesterday that maybe you’re not a baby anymore.  You picked up your foot to step over a cord hanging off the game machine at the bowling alley so you could position yourself better to play with that toy rifle, and I thought that was it.

That was the end of my belief that you’re a baby.

But you’re only seventeen months old and you think you can wash the dishes and climb up anything and yesterday I taught you to say “tractor” and you sat on the antique blue Ford with the pull-behind wagon and tried to drive and you were still my baby.

You push the kitchen chairs all over the house and point enthusiastically at whatever dessert concoction might be on the counter in anticipation that I’ll serve it to you for breakfast. You think you’re too big for your table booster, but you’re still turned backward in that hand-me-down Britax and on the way home from school Friday you echoed your sisters’ exclamations of spelling tests and science projects with a hearty, “Yeah!”

You love shoes and those passed down from some sweet friend grey New Balances might be the cutest thing I’ve put on your feet since last winter’s second-hand Robeez with the puppy.   But sometimes you go in my closet and try on every pair I have and I find wedge heels and Toms scattered all over the floor.

You don’t care that I’ve never bought you a new outfit or that you have a plethera of aunts who like to dress you with Old Navy clearance and mama has friends who are done with baby boys and keep you from the possibility of ever wearing an old pair of Amelia’s jeans.

You love the “kit-tee” and the only times you’ll stand still are at the glass door watching the kittens play or the man across the street mowing his lawn on the big orange mower. You know the difference between a truck and a car and the other day I broke down and admitted you needed some toys that weren’t ponies or Barbie vans.

You have the most inquisitive nature and will walk around pointing and repeating “uh-uh” until someone figures out that you want the word for thirsty which for your little mind is only “cup!”

I’ve been trying to keep you my baby for so long but you’re straining out of my arms to be set free to learn and explore and discover that cat food doesn’t belong in the bathtub and your sisters will shriek if you push the buttons on the VCR that change the television channels when they’re watching a movie. 
But most of the time, you only want me. You give the tightest, fiercest hugs and will climb all over me trying to snuggle. Sometimes I think it’s like you’re just trying to get back to that safe place inside where I didn’t have a choice but to hold you. 

This summer your hair turned blonde and spun ringlets with the humidity. You’re going to have a scar on your forehead from falling into the brick hearth at the great-grands and getting five stitches. You’ve cut nearly all your teeth and your grin is irresistible.
Your sisters use the phrases “literally” and “anyways” and “I can’t believe” over and over and not always correctly, but you just laugh and peek behind your fingers and steal all their attention. 
I fear a bit we will ruin you for anyone else.
But right now, you’re mine. You’re ours. You’re the promise of God to give me more abundance than I ever imagined.

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