You are a little boy now. And our summer has been full of all the little boy things.
We watched out the front window as the city worked on our road, again. Each day, you would get up and ask about the ‘druckins happening outside. Our days were filled playing ‘druckins, using all the gid deers and eccavaders and backhoes you have to create roads on our living room floor. As we ride in the car, you are often the first to point out any kind of machinery, congratulating yourself with a prompt Good eyes, Buddy! when you do.
We spent much of each day outside, to our joint delight. The beach became our second home, and you spent hours building sand mountains, racing into the water, and crab walking around, getting as much of your little body in as possible. You learned to jump off the piers and were always, always looking for fish. Driving home for lunchtime, I would hand you graham cracker after graham cracker in an attempt to keep you awake, looking back at you to see you dozing off mid-graham.
This was also the summer of baseball. Owen, you are your father’s son. You love being pitched to, pitching, hitting off the tee. I think I will always remember the feeling of preparing dinner and looking outside our kitchen window to the backyard, to watch your dad put the ball on the tee over and over again. As June gave way to September, you started crushing balls over the fences enclosing you, always stopping to take a focused lap around the bases, even if the ball landed just feet away. Inside, cooking spoons, our wooden giraffe puppets, your own arms became baseball bats. Over and over, you’d pick up a fake ball, throw it to me, and then wait expectantly in a batting stance. Sometimes, you’d just pitch to yourself, yelling home run! oer the fence! or ground ball! or base hit! or strikeout! after each swing, taking a lap around the dining room table and back to home base. I love waking up in the morning to see you and your dad, eating cheerios, watching baseball highlights together.
This has all been the summer of stuffed animals…and piles. You are regularly carrying between 2-6 stuffed animals, dropping them and screaming in frustration, building mounds of them and huge piles of all of your toys on the couch, on the floor, in your crib. We are ever looking for Baby Puppy or Monkey or Mama Puppy or Lambie or trying to evaluate which animals you should bring on a walk, in the car, to the kitchen.
On a whim, we decided to potty train you. You spent about three weeks in June totally pants less, and you have had relatively few accidents. I have this image of you, sitting on your froggy potty, at least 2 stuffed animals in hand, maybe also trying to read a book. Once we introduced the reward of a BIG marshmallow for a poop, you managed to squeeze out the tiniest of turds every time you used the potty. It was incredible. You worked that system like a boss. You are mostly in underwear these days, except when you sleep. We’re really proud of you!
It has not been all rosy. There have been tantrums and more whiny afternoons then I care to remember. We are working hard on obeying right away, getting under control (in which you cover your mouth with your hand very solemnly), and being kind to Elsa. Anything in her hands automatically becomes the object of your heart’s desire, and you end up hurting her at least twice a day…intentionally or not. There have been timeouts and threats of consequences (“like Stella Bella?”) you always say. My mantra has been a quote I saw on this blog: Don’t get so busy trying to raise a good kid that you forget you already have one.
For there is a lot of good in you, Owen Bowen. You greet almost everyone we see with a friendly hello and a wave. You bring toys to your friends and are working so hard at sharing, often singing Daniel Tiger’s You can take a turn and then I’ll get it back as you do. You love life and are excited by all of the details. You are full of these and determination, telling me all day, “I can do it wif my OWN self!” You are passionate, exuberant. I suggest we paint and you are jumping up and down saying, “Thas a great perfect idea, Mom!” We turn up the volume on the Hampster Dance to clean up and you are picking up toys, spinning in circles of pure joy. There is so much to love about living with you.
You are ever bringing us books to read and even more often asking us: “Can you tell me a dory?” Your dad and I have told you every story about your grandpas and sports and dogs and sledding and camping that we can think of. Your appetite for stories is insatiable, and I love that about you. You are completely obsessed with the story of David and Goliath, singing the song and re-enacting the story (from both sides!) all day long, paging through your Bible to find that one every time. We are starting to tell you more stories about Jesus, and your questions about God are plentiful…Is God gonna come today? Is God in the car? Is Jesus gonna be in the backyard?
God gave you to us, Owen. Us. And daily, I am praying that I can “make straight the pathway to the Lord” for you, that my actions, my words, my attitudes will be a highway, even and smooth, for you to walk on towards Him. I don’t always get it right. But I pray that you see Him in your dad and I.
I love you more than you know,
Things You Love: construction machines, tractors, animals of every kind, baseball, Daniel Tiger, Veggie Tales, David and Goliath, I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, painting, play dough, ABCs, books, stories, Curious George, Clifford, Berenstein Bears, your stuffed animals (chiefly Monkey & Baby Puppy), food, snacks, juice, helping cook, when your Dad comes home, your grandparents, being outside, bringing rocks inside the house, splashing like a crazy person in the bath
Things You Hate: coming inside, the last story, the last song, the last book, going potty when you’re busy playing, when Dad isn’t home at bedtime, being told not to climb something, timeouts, when you drop something you’re carrying