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December 16, 2001 - Sunday
If Harry is two and tonight Harry's grandparents came over for a little party. Unlike last year when Harry didn't have much idea about birthdays, this year he had candles on his cake and it felt like a real party for an emerging little boy. I'm not sure he actually understands about birthdays much better at two, after all he's pretty much the center of attention every day. But, this year I think he knew something special was happening. If he didn't, I certainly did. While it's just another milestone on the one hand, celebrating Harry turning two felt more to me like celebrating Harry's first two years and just how far he's come. He's grown from an infant to a toddler and is becoming a delightful little boy. And, while I've had plenty of moments of frustration as he grown, I really can't imagine being happier with the person that I see blossoming. I love that he is kind and gentle with his baby brother. I love his enthusiasm for backhoes and books. I love that he comes over to help with the firewood whenever I bring a load into the house. I love that he can communicate so well for his age and thus let us see the world through is young eyes and mind. I love the way he tries so hard to learn. I even love his frustration when he hasn't quite learned or can't quite do something on his own because I love his ambition. I love his sense of direction in the car, as he now often clearly knows where we are and which way we should go even though he is barely tall enough to see out the car window. I love to watch him become excited and see his eyes widen and his smile emerge from a surprise. I love to see him laugh. I love to catch him by surprise when we "run amok" and see his whole body stiffen then quiver with excitement, his hands come together, and his face shriek with joy and laughter. I love to have him climb and jump on me as I lie on the floor or the sofa, now one of his current favorite pastimes. I love to watch him walk down the street to the bus stop with the big kids and know that he's holding his own interacting with them. I marveled today that, when we were driving home from an afternoon party, Harry piped up and told me to turn down the heat saying "no more heat, daddy, that's enough." (It was likely on his mind because I had let him take his coat off getting into the car saying that I'd turn on the heat. But, he still surprised me with his awareness.) I love his long-lasting joke of "diiiiiin-ner, lunch," which started several months ago when we were teaching him which word was for which meal. I love that he poses after him hits a ball when playing his game. I love his game and that he plays it with me. I love to watch his mind work as he visibly sorts through events or circumstances and when I know he's trying to be so good when it's sometimes so hard. I love that he likes to go outside and even that he runs up and down the road. I especially like how he's learned to go over to the side of the road and wait for any oncoming car to pass by. I love it when he takes pride in those things that he's learned. I love that he likes music and plays gently on a piano and doesn't bang. I love to remember the days when I would sing him to sleep for a nap when he was very young and to sleep at night over the past year. Those times are gone now, but now I love to listen to him talk at night as we lie together at bedtime before he goes to sleep, at least those nights when he's not fussing about going to bed, though I know those are part of the bargain, too. I love to hear no sound beyond his continuing chatter with his teddy bear as he lets me leave his bedroom at night without complaining even though he'd rather have me stay longer (that doesn't happen every night), because I love to think about him maturing into a little boy, his own little boy, with his own ideas and personality, and his getting me interested in his things like backhoes and books and whatever comes next.

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