Everything is changing, and fast. It's like his little developmental clock KNOWS that his birthday is around the corner and has decided to kick into full gear.
The funny part is that the "kid" side of him is going strong - he is playful, silly, imaginative and would still rather be in his pajamas (or less) than anything else. The part of him that is quickly changing is the part that surrounds the play - the vocabulary, the type of play, the humor, and especially his ability to join us at our level of humor, participating more and more in the conversations next to which he previously just existed, oblivious.
His smile is, as ever, changing. He daily looks more and less like himself as his identity continues to evolve. I miss the boy that was here yesterday, but not quite as much as I love the boy that's here today.
I suppose this very conflict is at the heart of what it means to mother a child, to be torn between two minds. Between guarding them and preserving their innocence (even if the motives are slightly selfish) and relishing their growth, progress and new ventures. Fernando doesn't struggle with this like I do, he is ready to celebrate the changes now underway. He is patient with me though, understanding that mamas have a different tug on their heart than dads do. Fernando knew the time had long passed to buy Daniel a booster seat in the car and be done with his toddler seat (in retrospect, it DID look a bit ridiculous to have a kid his size in a seat like that) but he allowed me to come to terms with yet another rite of passage before we made the change.
Anyway. I could ramble about my exhausted heart strings all day. I'm so proud of him I could just burst. He loves his family. He loves God. He does well in preschool. He is kind to his friends. He is respectful to his teachers. He is patient and loving towards Violet. He is creative beyond my comprehension. He is blossoming in front of me, and it's a privilege to have a front row seat.
But no matter how much he changes, he is still my baby boy.