Milestones routinely sneak up on me. I’m pretty short-sighted by design; my heart is too easily bogged down by the realization that life is far shorter and far faster than I’d like, so I keep my eyes just a few paces ahead of my feet at any given moment. The down side to this self-imposed near-sightedness is that sometimes I wake up and discover that my baby is turning two.
Jude was the blessing we didn’t realize we needed in 2015. And today, in 2017, he’s the little bit of wonderful that continues to remind me how generous God is.
Despite the circumstances swirling in our family at the time of his birth, Jude was a beacon of bright light reminding us that not only is there death and loss, but there is life and gain as well. He dragged our eyes away from our wounds and helped us find the green sprouts of hope in our hearts. He was tangible evidence of God’s love and mercy in a sea of “why?” all wrapped in in a flurry of blonde hair and chubby thighs.
Jude has embodied that spirit of optimism and faith every day since. To think of him being two, though, is somehow difficult. So much has happened in two years, so much has changed. And while I want to think it’s all still very fresh and new…
I can’t. It’s been two years. Jude is proof.
He’s not a baby. Not even close. He’s a full-on toddler— curious, funny, and just a little bit too shy to smile back at the nice lady at the library who checks out his favorite copy of Jesse Bear, What Will You Wear? (afflink). He loves to be outside, to chase chickens, and to watch tractors in neighboring fields. The perfect day for Jude starts with a cup of kefir, includes some quality time on the swings, and ends with his head on a pillow next to mine as he recounts the details of his wanderings.
It’s a beautiful thing, two. It’s spotting airplanes, digging in sand, jumping off logs, and riding on Daddy’s shoulders. It’s the door to the even bigger stuff: the two-wheeled bikes, swimming without a life jacket, getting the eggs out of the coop all by yourself. But since I’m so myopic, since I’m content to let the future creep up on me while I sit by with a cup of tea and a ball of yarn, I’m not going to think about bikes and the deep end and the seasons yet to come. Instead, I’m going to sit right here and bask in two… just like Jude.