Two years ago he crash landed onto the scene. When it’s quiet, I think about what he’s thinking about—what goes on inside that little brain of his?
He’s my little tempest. Rarely will you find middle ground with him. He’s either shy or he’s shouting “hi!” and waving manically. He’s belly laughing with a giant grin or he’s stomping and having a fit. He’s almost always go!—go!—go! but occasionally, he’ll toddle over and say “Mama, up!” I’ll get a couple minutes to hold him until he decides it’s time for the next thing.
I realized for the past two years I’ve waited for him to mellow out. To calm down. To change who he is. I was wrong to hope for that—not because I don’t still wish it (I do), but because I think that spirit is God’s way of refining me. He’s got a lot more work to do (but please, Lord, that’s not a challenge!).
Whereas Shepherd teaches me the need to be gentle and kinder, Wilder is the foil. Wilder tests every limit, pushes every boundary, takes me to the very edge of “nice mama.” I don’t always hold on. That’s my fault, not his own.
If I’m making life with him sound difficult, that’s because it often is. But it’s effervescing with joy, too. He truly does everything larger than life, and that includes love. He makes us laugh so hard, especially when he dances. He gives us certain looks that make stone faces crumble. He dialogues with us (in his “minion voice) for several minutes at a time. He has big stories to tell.
We’re an odd couple. We’re learning how best to work together. As he learns to talk, things seem to be getting easier. He can direct us well. While we don’t always understand his words, he knows ours perfectly well.
If I had to think of his favorite things to do, I’d say pushing things (like his toy trucks, empty boxes, trains, and basically anything that can be pushed) across the floor) takes top prize. He likes to build with Legos and Magnatiles. He loves cars, “choo choos,” “gaga” (milk/cup), and Honey Pot, his bear. He loves being outside and trying to keep up with his brother. He’s never met a stranger, and waltzes into Shepherd’s preschool class and greets everyone before Shepherd is even through the door. Wilder’s nicknames: Wy Wy; Wy Man; John Toodles; JJ; The Don; Donaldo/Donaldo John.
We joke that he has a big name to match his big personality. My prayer is that as he grows older he can take that passion and apply it well. I’m eager to see how he grows and changes this year.
It’s funny what we remember. In the hospital after Wilder was born, I remember being exhausted because he cried so much. Now, at the end of the second full year of his life, I think about those first couple of days often. When he’s mad and having fits, I wonder if it will always be this way. My wonderful MOPS mentor mom knows I worry about this, and I am so thankful for her encouragement and wisdom and experience raising a boy much like my own.
Happy second birthday, Wy! Daddy says you’re not a baby anymore, but you’ll always be my baby. I love you so much, and I am so thankful you are my baby boy.