Here we are, one month from leaving our vicarage in Iowa, trying not to panic at the amount of packing that will be taking place soon. I have been so preoccupied with learning to balance meeting the very different needs of two children that all of a sudden we are preparing to leave. Today I also realized that my son has changed so very much in the past few months. Physically, he looks like a young boy, rather than the toddler that is in all the pictures we took of him before Ava was born. Emotionally, he seems to be trying to learn how to deal with the roller coaster that takes place in children from time to time. He's no longer the center of attention and he had to learn real patience overnight when Ava was born. He's so independent now it scares me. I never used to worry much when we went to public places because he always wanted to be right by us. Two days ago at Walmart, he showed me just how much he has changed. He wandered up and down aisles and walked out in front of other people's carts. He played on an abandoned clothes rack for several minutes, never once looking to see where we were (out of his view, about 15 feet away). He would run down the aisle so far ahead of us that people would look at him, wondering to whom he belonged. I found myself wondering the same thing. The questions he asks leave me googling for answers. He started asking 'what time is it?' a few months ago. As confusing as it is to say 'It's 12:35' on a clock that only has the numbers from 1-12, he still seems to be figuring out the minutes. A few days ago I counted a couple of times by fives up to 60, hoping to prepare him for learning how the minutes work on the clock. Today I randomly started counting "5, 10, 15, 20" and he jumped in "25, 40!". Hey, close enough for me! Nick said it's probably best for him to be able to count past 20 before teaching counting by 5's, but some may also say it's best for a child to be able to read before teaching them about verbs and nouns. Yeah, he just 'gets' those, too. Last week at the library I picked up a book called 'To toot, to root, to parachute'. I didn't even look through it, the title made it a must-have for me :) Anyhow, it turned out to be a fun rhyming book of all verbs. After reading it once, he understood verbs. Nick then gave a few examples of nouns and he was able to differentiate between a verb and a noun. Luckily 'A mink, a fink, a skating rink' was available at the library today. They also have pronoun, adverb, adjective, and synonym books. I had no intention of teaching him these advanced concepts (for a 2 year old, ok, advanced for ME!) but it just happened! He totally takes it in stride and thinks nothing of it. Because it's just completely normal to tell me "It's quarter til 5 mom" and then go and make a diamond and a trapezoid on the floor with golf balls. God has truly blessed him with a wonderful mind and I can't wait to see what our little sponge will absorb next.
Today we said goodbye to our very close friends. I don't like goodbyes. I never know the right thing to say or how to ease the hurt. Sometimes I cry. Sometimes my brain can't compute what is actually going on and it's not until later that I realize something is missing. It's difficult not knowing when you'll see someone again. It's hard to go through so much together and then not be able to be there to support your friends during a dramatic and life-altering transition. In the words of my dear sweet son:
"I'm going to miss you guys"
But alas, such is the journey that God has placed before us. Full of hellos and goodbyes for the time being. Trust that He will provide. God will never leave you nor forsake you.