Letter to Zeke: Twenty-Four and Twenty-Five Months

January 8th, 2010 by Rainey

Dear Zeke,

So…you’re two!  And almost a month…because when you turned two we were smack dab in the middle of Advent, then Christmas came.   Then New Year’s…and then Epiphany…oh, who am I kidding.  Our lives never slow down.  The fact that you just turned two is another reminder of that truth.

Before you turned two we had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your Grammy and Grandpa in Hopewell.  We spent time with Wade and Mark and Uncle Tony.  Your Grammy gave you baths and put you to bed each night and Mema’s.  We went to a veritable family reunion over at some of your Daddy’s cousin’s house for Thanksgiving dinner…it was a busy time.

In related news, your daddy herniated a disc in his back.  Or a disc in his back became herniated.  I  shouldn’t make it sound like your daddy did anything intentional that made that happen.  But almost immediately after running the marathon he basically had to give up running for a few months.  This has not been easy.  He was in a great deal of pain, depressed because he couldn’t run, upset because he couldn’t bend down to pick you up, bummed out in general…it wasn’t much fun for any of us.

The other night on the way home from daycare I said something offhanded about my back hurting.  You said, “No, Mommy.  Back no hurt.  Daddy’s back hurt.”  So now I am officially not allowed to have back pain.  That is solely a daddy thing.

The general sturm und drang of herniated disc, early morning P.T. appointments, steroids and anti-inflammatories, and a neurosurgeon appt, all added up to a sort of “eh” Advent season here in the Whitesides home.

Added to that mix, you decided to sort of stop sleeping again for a while.  Just as a final hurrah before entering year two full blast, I suppose.

Your birthday party was lovely.  We had an alligator theme, decorated with all of your personal alligators from “the collection.”  We had an alligator decorated cake and had fun with Nana and Papa, Aunt Katie, the Lewis’, Your Buddy George and Miss Peggy, and Nanny Marley and her family.  It was a low key, drop in for half an hour type of event.  Which was really perfect for you.  You opened the gifts I had specifically requested that no one buy you and then stayed with Nana and Katie while Mommy and Daddy went to Megan’s surprise birthday party that night.  You fell asleep in Nana’s lap before the second book was finished at bedtime. Sometimes you tell us that it is your birthday again.  I think you are angling for cake.  But maybe you are just remembering a really good day.

After that, we sort of puttered through a week until Christmas, doing our normal church activities.  We had a big snowstorm the weekend we had hoped to celebrate Christmas with Grammy and Grandpa, Uncle Tony and Uncle Rusty.  Because Rusty had flown in that day from California, he decided twenty or so inches of snow was not going to stop him.  So they made a SIX HOUR trip from Richmond to come see us.  We waited with bated breath to see if they would make it, taking breaks to go sled riding.  And then celebrated with a big dinner and gifts.

After that, Christmas actually seemed a bit anticlimatic!  We spent the couple hours between Christmas Eve services at the Robertson’s again this year.  Which was wonderful.  Then we put some carrots out for the reindeer, talked about baby Jesus.  As we told the story and got to the wise men, you began singing Twinkle, Twinkle.  Which was just about the cutest thing ever.  We began singing along and you quickly stopped and said, “No Mommy!  No Daddy!  No singing!  Isaac singing!”  And then continued with the song as we muffled the laughter at your outburst.

On Christmas day we headed down to Papa and Nana’s house.  Aunt Katie was already there and Gramps.  We got there, ate, and proceeded to open gifts for next few hours.  We never realized that you would play with every single thing you received, trying on a new shirt, and reading each book.  It was a fun time.  The most amazing part was that you weren’t really “into” the gifts.  You loved handing gifts out to people.  And when asked to open a gift, most of the time you would.  But it was about being with family for you.  And for all of us.  It was nice.

Mommy thought she would get a day off the Sunday after Christmas, something very rare for an associate pastor.  But she ended up doing all the readings and leading a lessons and carols type service at papa’s church so that he could sing in the choir.  It ended up being just exactly right.

We left you with Papa and Nana and Aunt Katie for a few nights after Christmas and came home on our own.  Strange.  It was the first time we had ever spent nights away from you together.  But it was a nice and needed break.  We were thankful that you were so happy at your grandparents’ house that you didn’t seem to much mind our absence.  In fact, as we were getting ready to leave to go home we were giving you kisses and you said to daddy, “ok.  you go now.”  And we did.

The past few weeks since Christmas have been full of fun things.  A visit from Mark and Chandra.  A trip to the Dulles Air and Space Museum with John and Rebecca.  A trip to the Natural History Museum (including a metro (“train”) ride!!) with mommy and daddy.  I have said it before, and I will say it again.  Your favorite part of the Air and Space Museum was the ice cream cone.  And your favorite part of the Natural History Museum was the whale-shaped sugar cookie.  So it seems we have found a theme.  We had a great few days.  You were really wonderful on both those trips.  And we hated to go back to work and take you back to daycare.

You are just so much fun these days.  You can tell us everything you are thinking.  That the scale in the bathroom looks like a lillypad.  That the moon looks like a mouth wide open.  You tell us about your day at school when we are eating dinner.  And you tell us you love us.  That is pretty great.  Of course, the other night when we got home, you also told our front door you loved it and gave it a hug.  So you are either a very loving or very indiscriminate little boy. I think probably the former.

I can’t even begin to write down all the cool things you do these days.  You talk.  You dance.  You say, “Mommy and Daddy watch this!” and then make a funny noise or drink the milk from your cereal bowl or jump up and down or just make a funny face.  It is awesome.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was romantically remembering when her girls were infants.  I said, “Bah!  Isaac was cool when he was little.  But now…NOW he is FUN!”  Even though it is hard to watch you grow up, hard to adapt to the changes: the climbing out of the crib, the sometimes messy desire to drink from cups with no lids, the potty training, it is also about the best thing ever.  I’ll take you how you are.  However you are.  And just enjoy it all!

Love,

Mommy

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