So my almost 3 year old continues to amaze us with his language. We are very fortunate that his being born at 26 weeks did not delay his development, besides his lack of being on the growth scale...he's just a little squirt. At his 2 year evaluation, he was speaking at a 30 month level and he just does not seem to stop. Today he proceeded to tell us that baby sister was "blushing". As he was munching on his lollipop, he let us know that it was "crunchy". A few weeks ago when my mom was here, we were talking about things we would like to do when his cousins came to visit and he blurted out, "Absolutely!". Now there are definitely things that that he picks up from our conversations and words/phrases we use around the house a lot, but I swear his memory is nuts. If he hears something just once, he remembers it. It's amazing. There are some phrases he comes up with that I have no idea where he gets them from.
Three of my favorite Zachary moments are before bed when he asks to read his Bible, when he bursts out in song and when he proclaims, "I want to pray" before we eat any meal. I am amazed at the songs he remembers. He sings worship songs from church pretty much word for word and still sings "Frosty the Snowman" and "Away in a Manger" from 4 months ago. When he reads through his Bible he remembers the characters from stories we have already read and what happened to them. My heart skipped a beat when he looked at a picture of Jesus after he was on trial and said "Why is Jesus hurt? Who hurt Jesus?" He is such a sponge!
I am not a fan of watching too much TV. We record a few shows and those are what he watches when it is TV time. Most of them are educational, I am just that way as a teacher, but there are a few fun shows like The Backyardigans which we love to watch. His favorite shows lately are Dinosaur Train, Word World and Super Why. I know he picks up so much from them. He walks around saying "Lickity Letters!" or "two thumbs up" which are phrases pig says on Super Why. He says "Double Drat!" which is from Red on Super Why. Or he'll say "Don't panic!" which is what Ant says on Word World. Lately he has been naming dinosaurs that he sees once in an episode of Dinosaur Train. And his pronunciation of them is amazing! I can't even remember how to pronounce all of them. He learned his letters and sounds from The Letter Factory DVD. He is just a sponge. I guess that is why I am picky about TV and movie watching. We really try to shield him from violence, language and life issues that he just doesn't need in his life right now. He'll get it all one day. Right now, I just want him to enjoy being young and as innocent as he can be! :) That is important to us.
His language development is also a reminder to me as a mom how important it is to play with him, interact with him, have conversations with him, read with him, encourage his imagination and play and introduce age-appropriate education to him. As much as I try to monitor his TV and movie watching, we know that we also need to monitor how we act and converse around him. We want to be ourselves, but it has really reminded me what a role model I am for him and how important it is for me to treat my husband, kids, family and friends the way I want him to treat others. That goes along with how we talk to each other as well, how we disagree, deal with strong emotions and how we show love and forgiveness. As a mom, these are all so important to me.
I am his mom and whether I am a teacher by trade or not, I want to be his primary care-giver, spiritual encourager and educator. He is just growing so fast. I don't want to miss a moment of it. (Like the moment I am having now as he sits beside me eating snack and watching Super Why. He is basically narrating it to me as he rests his hand on my arm as I type. That touch is one I don't ever want to forget!) I know one day I will be sitting in this house remembering how my kids ran around screaming and leaving toys everywhere. Granted, I won't miss some of that, but I know I will miss these days of hugs, kisses, kid fun and language phrases that blow my mind! I also know I will be praying as I pray every day now, that I am doing all I can to instill in his heart, soul and growing mind that he is loved so much, not just by his father and mother, but by Jesus. No matter what decisions he makes in his life, no matter what path his life takes, Jesus is ALWAYS with him and we will always be there for him.
I love this season of motherhood no matter how challenging it is at times, and I want to live every minute of it! I want to encourage you as well, don't let it pass you by, no matter what season of parenting you are in right now!
Dearest Jesus, in this world we will have trouble, but you have overcome this world! Help us to take heart, to trust, to have faith that you are at work in our lives as parents and in the lives of our kids. Help us to be the best parents that we can be, knowing that as humans, we will fall and we will make bad decisions, but that you surround us, love us and give us your grace. Strengthen in us the fruits of the Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control and help us to live those out in our daily lives as we interact, discipline and love our children, friends and families. Hold our children in your hands, guide them, watch over them and grow in their hearts and minds. Amen.