It is July 2015. Shepherd is almost three and a half years old. Wilder is 19 months old. It’s just a normal weekday at our home. Aaron’s at work, and I’m home with the boys (in this case, with camera in hand).
There is nothing remarkable about this day except that it is precisely the kind I will forget years down the road—that’s why I’m recording it here. I want to remember the little things that made up our days together before my boys are no longer little. We have a messy living room. We have scribbled-on chalk boards and overflowing toy bins. The empty diaper box has not made it to the trash. It’s being used as a cat catcher and a rocket ship and a boat and other things I surely forgot. I haven’t rushed to pick any of this up… this is how we really live.
Shepherd is becoming more and more imaginative. His world is bursting open with newness. Everything is a question, and he must say my name a thousand times a day. He’s constantly trying to get to the bottom of our motives. He asks us if something “really” is constantly—”Mommy, do you REALLY think ____?” or “Daddy, is that REALLY ____?” He’s especially fascinated with car engines, lawn mowers, and heavy machinery. He loves our cats, Livy and Toby (especially “sweet Miss Gooey,” as he calls her). It’s hard for him to sit still unless he’s watching Mighty Machines, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, or Veggie Tales. He is sweet and kind and sensitive but has a stubborn streak. I have to be careful how I scold him or he will become very sullen. He doesn’t forget a single thing we say.
He starts preschool in less than a month, and I’m cherishing my time with him before he takes that step.
Wilder pushed his crib into the middle of his tiny nursery before he fell asleep. He does this often—strong and pushing against everything, always. Usually, by the time I go to his room to get him out of his crib, he’s fussing and shouting “mama!” and has thrown his paci and all of his babies out of his crib. Today he’s in a good mood—that’s not always (or even often) the case. He’s cantankerous after nap time, much like my sister was as a baby.
He’s my tumultuous baby. He’s not (nor has he ever been) an easy child, but we truly adore him. He pushes us constantly, yet his happy, mischievous smile is my personal instant amnesia. He is loud and screams just to hear his voice. He also carries around his stuffed animals all day and loves to lay them down on the floor and rest quietly on them. He’s a study in opposites.