This semester mommy went back to work. You noticed but do not seem to mind. Rooster, you are with Elizabeth now two and a half days a week. You are the baby over there in a way your sister never was. You were anticipated not just by me and your dad, but by the whole hybrid Griman family. And while Peanut came over there wanting to play even-steven with Sean, you are happy to sit in whatever baby holder we plop you in and be coo-d at. You are the baby and everyone wants to take care of you.
Even when the other kids squeeze or pat you too long or too hard you don’t seem to mind. When I am sure they are about to squeeze your last breath right out of you, you are looking at them patiently, “Are you done yet? Oh, not quite, that’s okay too. Keep squeezing.” When the kid who has begged to give you your bottle gets bored, and you end up with a bottle up your nose, nine times out of ten, you think the whole situation is hilarious and smile until an adult comes to rescue you. You never doubt that we will.
You sleep through the night sometimes now, and even when you don’t, no one is more annoyed than you that you are awake. We weaned this month. I don’t know if you were ready or not, but I was. I was having some guilt about the whole thing, but it is wonderful to get to look into your eyes when you eat.
When I look into your eyes, I see everything that already was. Me, my mother, her mother, and the many mothers before that. You hold all of them in those cloud grey eyes of yours. You know inherently, and your presence reminds me, that right here right now is exactly where we are supposed to be. It is you who best teach me how to simply be in this moment. The one God put us in together. I was once disappointed that your eyes did not turn brown quickly. Now I know I will be wistful when they finally do. My old soul, my ancient of days baby. There is a prophecy over your life that you bring change. I used to worry that this was too big a mantle to shoulder someone, especially my baby girl. But I know now that God designed you in a way that this change will not bother you. You already knew it was coming.
Peanut, every day when I get home from work, more of the baby has melted away and in its place is a little girl. You are so big, and so very independent. I look at you and realize how silly how much of my first time mom worrying was. You have grown hair (a mullet, but it is hair) that you like to wear in pigtails. Only Elizabeth knows how to put them in, but that does not stop you from handing rubber bands, turning around and pointing at your head. “This,” you say.
You walk and run just fine now, climb up and down the stairs. You are truly the funniest person I know. The other day you put on my red flats, your dad’s boxer like a sash, and stretched your sisters snowman hat over your head like a yarmulke. Just another day at the office I suppose. When we went to Target, you picked out your own shoes. You knew exactly which kicks were yours. Then later you brought me your socks and told me “shoes.” You howled with laughter. It was the best joke I had ever heard.
You have so many words that even strangers are starting to notice, and you pick so many up every day your dad cannot remember them all to tell me when I get home. You love songs and books and have opinions about when we should read and sing which ones. Last week I could not read the story to the other children at church because you insisted on attempting to read along with me.
When I look into your eyes, I see everything I could be, everything you could be, all the potential this world has to offer. It can overwhelm me until I realize it is right there, you are giving it to me, to everyone. You believe the best in us, me, your dad, Elizabeth. It is your gift, bringing light into this world.
You have come into your own as a big sister. You let us know when she is crying, and keep her entertained. You prefer doing life with a partner in crime. You like being your sisters favorite. And you are. I did not fully understand the hero-worship I had in my own heart toward my own big sisters until I saw the way Rooster looks at you.
I am so blessed to be your mom. My two peas in a pod, my yin-yang sisters. I am rich with the treasures you give me every day.