This has been the best, happiest two years of my life. There have been so many more highs than lows. I've loved watching Elena grow and change. And, seeing our Calvin enrich our family in ways we never could have anticipated has been the greatest joy. You always hear parents try to explain that they love all their children the same, but appreciate them for the differences that they bring into the family dynamic. I totally get it.
Calvin has opened parts of my heart that I didn't know existed.
When I was pregnant with Calvin, it was probably one of the most fearful times in my life. We had been dealt an awful tragedy with Elena, one I was still trying to recover from. My first parenting experience, what I had thought to expect, had been turned upside down. I was afraid of what having another child would do to me, do to Elena, do to our family. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle it, the responsibility of it all. I was afraid of what I would feel towards a second, typical child. Most of all, I was afraid of the relationship our little boy would have with his sister, who couldn't play with him or talk to him. I prayed nearly every day of that pregnancy for a sweet, tender-hearted, compassionate, patient, happy child.
God went above and beyond whatever I could ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20) when He chose Calvin for our family. Today, we are celebrating a sweet, tender-hearted, patient, easy-going, compassionate, helpful, sister-loving two year old who has brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined.
It has been a real blessing to be able to watch him bloom, experiencing the miracle of life right before our very eyes. We were robbed of that experience with Elena, and haven't taken one second of it for granted. Going through what we have with her, has made us much more cognizant of what to appreciate, and for that I am thankful.
I could write for pages about all the things about Calvin that bring me joy, but what brings me the most joy, without a doubt, is watching him with his sister. From day one, this little guy was expected to be dragged along to every one of Elena's daily appointments. As a result, he has been so well-adjusted and flexible. Nothing phases him. Not only that, but watching him try to play ball with Elena or offer her an apple slice from his lunch makes my heart burst into a million pieces. Obviously this is all he knows, but he has such a gentle spirit with her, always has. He loves to help me with her, like brushing her hair, bringing me her orthotics and shoes every morning for school, helping to put lotion on her after her bath or wanting to push her wheelchair. She's the first person he asks about when I pick him up from preschool and loves announcing "Sissy 'cited" when she squeals with happiness. This boy has a heart for his sister and seeing the way they love each other is pure joy.
Calvin loves seeing his friends at "school" and singing the Bible songs about "Gee-sus" he learns at church. He thinks his cousin Sam is pretty much the greatest and constantly talks about his grandparents, uncles and neighborhood friends. Right now, he loves all things "gat-ball" (basketball), golf and "bee-ball" (baseball). He can work the same ABC puzzle over and over for hours, watch his "shows", and loves pointing out "semis, trucks, cars, trees and "skoo-busses". We listen for airplanes, "copters" and "mowers" throughout the day. He soaks in everything constantly with his little eyes and ears. He's a non-stop chatterbox, always either talking or singing songs. He's fiercely independent like his Daddy, which frustrates Daddy when trying to teach him how to hold a golf club! Cal imitates anything...from me cleaning, to watering flowers, to mowing the grass, there's always a little shadow not far behind. He keeps us laughing constantly with both his wild streaks and his old man ways. He goes from running through the house like a mad-man to stopping everything and settling in on the couch to watch "Fortune" (Wheel of Fortune) and Jeopardy before bed. He's a sleeping prodigy, often announcing he's ready for "sleepytown" and marches himself back to bed, which is a gift after all our issues with Elena's sleeping.
At two, he's a pretty great little guy, though his favorite sentences this week have been "No want to, no way" and "my turn" . We're constantly working on sharing, understanding the word no and listening to mommy and daddy, but something tells me we'll be working on those for the next 15 years! He hates brushing his teeth and has very little interest in the potty. I'm hoping the personal hygiene preferences change soon!
Our little guy is full of personality. He is everything I prayed for and more than I could fathom. God is so faithful, even when I let fear and doubt lead. I'm so honored to have the privilege to raise this little life and share him with the world.
Happy 2nd Birthday, Calvin Merrick. You are so precious, so beautiful, so loved.