Oh, how I would love to freeze time — and Finn — just the way he is now. Exactly now.

It seems like every single (daytime) minute of his nineteenth month has offered a surprise, a reason to gasp or laugh, a surge of joy. A couple of weeks ago, when driving past a silver trumpet tree in bloom, he came out with, “more yellow? More yellow? More yellow trees?” — and I took a roundabout route in a desperate attempt to find more yellow trees. A day or two later he demanded “more school bus?” when we passed children on their way home from school, and now buses — vehicles that previously brought to mind green, sweaty vinyl — are oh, so precious when they drive by. Then there are certain things that make me laugh when they probably shouldn’t, like when Finn got mosquito bites on his feet and at the dinner table lifted his left foot and said, “hurt, left! Kiss it! Kiss it!” The fact that our kisses REALLY make things better makes my heart want to burst, but what also amazes me is the fact that he knows his left foot from his right — and thinks it’s worth mentioning. And as an English teacher, I have to say that his use of verbs really livens things up. These days he doesn’t just say “plane” or “cloud” or “up”; he tells us there’s a “plane flying” or a “cloud moving,” and when he is intent on “climbing up”:

One of his favorite things to do is to climb up on “Daddy’s chair,” which is for some reason much more interesting than “Mommy’s chair.” Who cares, though? He’s using possessives! Plus, someday soon — with a BIT more practice — he’ll be spelling the word “Mommy”:

We’re still working on the important part — the sounds the letters actually make — but this month, Finn has learned that letters come together to make words that mean things, and has learned to recognize most of the alphabet. Still, it’s funny how an “X” can look like a “T,” or even an airplane:

Teaching Finn what a question mark is may seem silly — and I guess it is: maybe that’s why it’s so much fun. He loves to play and goof around, and the goofing almost always involves doing something new, or doing something old in a novel way, like the time he picked up his soft, squishy bath shapes, stacked them together and said “sandwich! Licious!” — and then pretended to take a bite and chew. After dinner last night, while Keith got the bath ready according to custom, I asked Finn where he was going next, and he said “bath,” as he always does. I then asked the next question: “what are you going to DO in the bath?” I expected him to say “wash hair,” or “bubbles,” or “clean.” Instead, he decided to say “dance,” and started wiggling around. He was playing with my expectations — and we both loved it. Every moment, every conversation, every game, every time we read a book, I wait to see what he’ll do next. Sometimes, he follows a routine, like when he wants to read my LEAST favorite book, “Snappy (Little Numbers),” and ALWAYS has to say “broken” each time he sees a pop-up animal with a part missing (because he previously ripped it off). Other times, he does something completely new, either because of a change in his own expanding perceptions, or because of a change in the environment, like when the (poorly wired) ceiling light recently shut off in the middle of our bedtime read:

I truly never thought I could have so much fun with a  bounce, a question mark, a green boot, a left foot.


for mommy

It was a rough start, for the two of us; both scared and in pain – a future uncertain. And then i saw the voice i heard speaking to me each night (I giggled back with hiccups). You were mommy.

And as you document my life (you know it is our life, don’t you, mommy?) here in my garden, I realize how proud you must be of me.

But you must know, anything I am, everything I have, and all I will ever be, is from you. So, you see, mommy, it makes sense to be proud of yourself (at least this weekend). Because all I really am, is you.

Mommy, i love you (and I apologize for hacking into your account to post this).