"Mommy see. Mommy see. Mommy see!" Life of late has been a veritable chorus of, "Mommy see." It turns out that children, like plants, thrive on food, water, and sunshine. The welcome, if tardy, arrival of spring sees Bar blooming lushly. A few extra inches, a hugely expanding vocabulary, and finally getting a handle on coordinating arms and legs - it's a brave new world for a little guy. "Mommy see!" I'm one of those who think that kids, and plants as it happens, also need to be fertilized with praise. I've been caught on more than one occasion whispering sweet nothings to my orchids. "Bar can do it!" I say so many times a day. "Hey Bar?" I question him, even interrupting a few rare moments of kid-free time, "Guess what - I love you." And so his confidence grows, springing forth from deep roots within his brave little heart. My rich reward for all this feeding and sunning, teaching him to speak and listening to what he has to say? "Mommy see."
Little Bar, here's what I see. I see you growing strong and healthy. Your days are spent running, kicking balls, swinging bats, and climbing. You fall down on purpose into grass so you can roll and tumble and look into the sky. You eat man sized quantities of food. Good food. Food made out of food. I see you feeling out your independence, learning that I don't instinctively reach out to stop you any longer when you reach the top of a flight of stairs or, usually, tell you that you can't try something even though I don't think you can do it. You have surprised me often. I see how capable you are already. When your confidence falters, I see you reach for me, "Mommy, hold my hand." "Let me show you," I say, "Bar can do it." And you do. And before I know it my reassuring hand is no longer required. I see you developing empathy. You appeared at my side a few days ago, a baby bird clutched in your hands. You stared at it intently as it keened for it's mother and food before finally whispering to me, "Mommy, bird frustrated." And to the bird you offered this, "Lie down, bird. Lie down. Sleep [you'll] feel better." I see that you are learning to give and receive love. I see your personality emerging, making funny jokes about macaroons long ago eaten because it makes us all laugh and figuring out that your slow smile wins you friends wherever we go. People, of all ages, want to be with you. "Mommy see! Mommy see!" I come to see you jump or roll, build a tower of blocks, or read a book, "By telf!" But I see also a beautiful young man before me. I see your quiet strength and the current of joy that moves you to hop to a place instead of walk. I see your generosity of spirit and I see your patience with your limitations, and mine. I see that there will be so much more for me to see in the days to come.
And Bar, when you call to me, "Mommy see," I hope that you can see how proud I am of you.