But right now? Right now I delight in Judah. I am watching him evolve from a toddler to a little boy. Every day he's bigger, using new words, interacting instead of simply reacting. This picture is from over a year ago and he still wears those pants but they fall off of him now, too big because he's lost so much baby chub from his waist.
He's using words now and though he's still usually quiet around others, at home he surprises me daily. I get out plain yogurt for him and ask him if he wants honey in it, and instead of a nod he says, "Yeah, onee." And I look up, suprised, and say, "Honey?" And he says, proudly, "Onney, oney, oney." And when I'm getting us ready to go I say, "Are you ready to go?" And he says, "Yah mama, I go mamma car." We read in a Spot book about Spot getting cookies from his Grandma and Judah looks and me and says, "I nee keekee", holding up one finger hopefully.
And best of all, a few months ago, as he entered this stage, he also became incredibly snuggly. Now he is choosing physical touch to give and receive love, and if he wakes up earlier than normal I pull him out of bed with his blanket, both of us sleepy eyed, and we curl up on the couch or in the big bed, his head of silky blonde hair tucked under my chin. He clearly soaks it up, and if he is afraid or hurt or just quiet, he is comforted when wrapped in arms and resting with me, his mother, and my own heart swells with tenderness.
Last week Isaac was gone for three days. It was crazy juggling work and home and pregnancy and Judah and a car breakdown at once, but having extra time with Judah was wonderful, and I am relieved that I enjoy him. Isaac laughs at me at how often he catches me, in this stage, watching Judah with a quiet smile on my face, obviously adoring. Judah is silly, energetic, sweet to other kids, stubborn with mom and dad, and cranky when he's thrown off his schedule. He knows there's a baby in my belly, and although he might not really know what that means, it's still so fun to see him imitate his dad and talk gently to "beebee". This week I loved to see him squeal with laughter when he saw my belly jump from baby kicks.
I know these days will fly by. By the time we leave for Indonesia his speech will have expanded more, and then, as I settle into our new life with two children, he will be the big boy, always bigger from here on out. There's something bittersweet in that, the way he will perceive himself as older and yet my heart will carry the memory of how he made me a mother, how he gave me the experience of having a part of my heart walking around outside my body in the form of a bright-blue-eyed boy with hair like sunshine.