At 12 months, our Rohan is as big as he is loving.
25 lb, 3 oz (80th %)
32 inches (97th % +)
This weekend he 'helped' with his first tie dye project. Or...more accurately...he was rounded up by my husband as Luca, some of her buddies, and some of my friends helped us tie dye some clothes and color my backyard grass. It was a day full of sunshine, cuddles, cupcakes and fruit, and lots of fun and friends!
And the tie dye? OH how lovely!!
He spent most of Sunday toddling around the house, on sea legs that grew sturdier and surer as the day went on. Victims of his newfound bravery included 2 soda cans, a (thankfully cold from sitting out all morning)cup of coffee, and an empty beer bottle (and an empty box that used to hold beers). He nearly bounced down the stairs as well and had I not been rightthere he may have found a new appreciation for gravity. But it hasn't deterred him and once this boy decides he's going to do something, it is going to get done. In one day he transformed from a baby who braved the ocassional spattering of drunken steps from object to object into a Big Boy Who Likes To Walk And Is Frighteningly Close To Running.
We make a point when Rohan is taking his morning nap to do something with Luca that we have a hard time doing while he is awake. It could be a trip to the store while one parent stays home. Playing Play-Doh. Or, her favorite, arts and crafts.
This is where I confess that I LOVE arts and crafts most of all. I sometimes push it a little over the other options. There's something therapeutic about sitting on the floor next to a littl kid, playing with markers and pipe cleaners and stickers and paint and glue. I love watching her try new things, and seeing her imagination unfold before my eyes. She loves to watch me make things and try to make them herself, and she is so full of pride when she completes a project. Our fridge, countertops, table, pantry door, and windows greet most Monday mornings adorned with new artwork, and it makes my heart swell up with pride to see her mind and her eyes and her hands working in concert to create and make things beautiful.
My favorite so far is a painting she did yesterday...purple paint on red construction paper. It didn't look like much of anything as I laid it on the counter to dry yesterday. But this morning I was getting ready to head out the door to take Luca and Rohan to my mom's, and she asked if she could bring a picture to Grandma. I said yes, and she grabbed the red one. Holding it up, she said to me, "See that mama? It's a little baby elephant. It doesn't have a long nose, though."
Puzzled, I asked her why the baby elephant didn't have a long nose.
"Because we're all sick, Mama. And the teeny baby elephant is sick too, and if he has a long nose, he's a lot of sick. So I made his nose little so he can just be a little sick."
Watching the body of a baby uncurl from infant to toddler...from defenseless and needy to effervescent and independent.
Watching a toddler make connections and rationalize. Seeing her go from object to subjective.
Being priviliged to bear witness to these moments of greatness that peer out from behind a veil of ordinary, everyday family life typifies the parenthood experience. We are honored to meet them at their very first breath, to learn the meaning behind each cry and feel the bliss of earning their smiles. We feel small hands on our face as we feed them, on the tender backs of our arms as we carry them close, and someday grasping onto us and then rushing to let go.
We know the beauty of an unhinged laugh and the way our heart bounds into our throat when they make us proud. We breathe them and hold them and dream them and love them with a quiet ferocity. And sometimes, when we are very lucky, we see them make a connection for the first time and nudge one step closer to independence. And we hold on fervently to the moment, promising ourselves we will remember the way her hair is honey spun gold that swoops over her face and catches in her fairytale eyelashes. Or this way his smile bursts into a thousand points of light and radiates from within his little Buddha body.
I try not to look back too much. Not to spend too much time sorting through the memories of her first laugh (in the tub when she spotted rubber ducky) or his first steps (from Daddy to me and back again). You spend too much time looking over your shoulder, you're bound to walk into another room and not realize how and when you got there. So I focus on the moment or the day or the season and stare the future square in the face. Hands in the air, barrel-rolling and laughing the whole way.