I love watching my three year old run. It has become one of my great joys in life. He runs as if it is what he was made to do. He runs fast and exuberantly, taking off a block away from the park, knees pumping. His run is punctuated by involuntary skips and jumps, legs pushing their limits in a rush to get to the playground. When he glances back at me, his face is pure joy.
He has kid legs now, long and lean. I can see the muscle definition in his thighs when he runs and jumps and stretches; his arms when he carries, throws, reaches up for me to hold him; his stomach when I tickle him. His little body is absolutely incredible- a work of art. God’s perfection standing before me.
Sometimes he runs just because he wants to, because it feels good. He runs up and down the sidewalk, through puddles, laughing with delight. He pushes his boundaries running down our street, glancing back to see how I am reacting as he runs in spurts, farther and farther down the sidewalk. Someday he will be driving down this same street and I can already feel the lump in my throat, the blood pumping through my veins as I push back the anxiety of letting him go.
Meanwhile, my other boy is beginning to discover his capacity for movement and I can already tell he is going to keep me on my toes, just as he did during his pregnancy. He shows a tremendous interest in exploring our house, loves holding onto your hands as he walks, constantly. He’s been crawling for a few weeks, quickly picking up a three-legged crawl in his effort to move from place to place and follow his brother around. He pulls himself up onto anything that will hold him; standing at our toy shelf and systematically pulling everything off it. I love watching the determination he displays when he moves from one place to the next. I love seeing the automatic smile that forms when he claps and waves and recognizes my voice.
I didn’t know what it would be like to form a relationship with another child. As an only child myself, I didn’t know what it looked like for a parent to have a relationship with more then one child, to give themselves in different ways, depending on the needs of each child on a particular day. I didn’t know it would feel so expansive, so awe inspiring, to realize during the small moments of our day that I am forming a separate relationship with Cameron that is so different from my relationship with Casey but just as big, just as loving. I didn’t know that it would feel so good to have a second boy who found comfort in my arms, who just wants to lay his head on my shoulder or hang onto my leg or cuddle next to me in bed, just because I am his mother. It gives a true meaning to the term “heart-full.”