|Starting our life together. 5/10/2011|
Family. Before Little Man came that word only referred to The Man, myself, Gus the wonder dog and our kitties.
But now it's much more. Three years ago our definition of family was revolutionized when a quiet boy was placed in my arms, sitting stiffly in my lap during our taxi ride away from the adoption agency.
I think back to that baby---that stranger who I called my child. I remember how he behaved then, small indicators of his amazing personality that would soon be revealed to us.
How he clung to a bottle and shyly shared his first laugh with us. An open mouthed belly laugh. It was the sweetest thing I have ever heard.
I remember the guarded look in his eyes. And how he didn't cry. How he kept his feelings bottled inside.
How he babbled and sang when alone in his crib.
And how he watched everything we did very carefully. And then tried to repeat on his own, getting frustrated when he couldn't get the exact same results. He'd try again and again, the absolute definition of determination.
He's still all these things. And of course, so much more. He's a child of extremes and intense emotion. Whatever he's feeling is all consuming for him, (and for those around him as well). He's incredibly physically gifted and one of the most agile children I've seen. He's smart. Sassy (which isn't always a plus). Courageous. Compassionate. Observant. A challenge. A mystery.
He is the leader on this great parenting adventure. Of course, we are the adults, but he is the leader. We follow him through it's twists and turns. Try to figure out how to help him stay on the path. He is forgiving of our mistakes and missteps.
From him we learn more about ourselves---how we react when pushed to our limits; how we need to find more self control; to realize that we really have no control at all; to figure out how to love something and let it go at the same time.
He's a tiny dynamo who inspires me to be a better person, shocks me with his joy for new things, and awes me with his ability to express his emotion completely. He's likely to be my life's greatest challenge and he's definitely my life's greatest adventure.
I can't believe it's only been three years together. And I'm thankful that we are family.