In no particular order:
- jumping, off of anything!
- sliding down big kid slides all by himself
- being able to let him play by himself on playgrounds(!)
- mimicking everything
- obeying simple commands
- his first haircut, on his second birthday
- finding out he'd be a big brother
- moving in with his grandparents
- climbing stairs all by himself
- making sentences; his longest so far, "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is coming right back!"
- identifying letters and phonemes
- sitting in a booster seat
- using fork and spoon
- first airplane rides
- tubing with Daddy
- making jokes and entertaining those around him
- saying "please" and "thank you"
- giving hugs while saying "awww"
- praying with hands together and head bowed
- potty training
Oh how I wish I could remember everything he's accomplished this year, but these are some of the highlights..i.e. what my pregnant brain can recollect. I know every mom says this, but I am just over the moon proud of my son. He lights up my life, and has brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined. I have enjoyed this past year with him, so much more than his first; simply because his personality is now shining through.
It brings me such happiness seeing him discover new things and being challenged. Moreover, I am grateful to God for allowing us to parent him. All of his little quirks and mannerisms fit our family so well. From his love of food to being a cuddly boy and rough and tumble self, he is ours. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
God has helped me greatly this year by increasing my patience with Caleb, and I'd say children in general. I pray it will only continue to improve with each day. He has also instilled in me the sacred calling of being a mother to Caleb. The intentionality with raising a godly child is such an immense and essential task. I can't leave it up to our church, or his Sunday school teachers, or books. One of my prayers when I was pregnant with him was that he would obey God's Word and tell others about Him. Faith is no different than other life lessons when it comes to being "caught, not taught." Even though we teach him Biblical truths, we know as parents that modeling it does far more for him than anything. I want him to know that Mommy and Daddy's God is real, and that our faith is too.
He amazes me with his simple, but profound ways of learning about faith. A few months ago, he picked up a Bible and said matter of factly, "Bible. God. Love." A few weeks ago when I asked him to obey a command, he said, "No." I then asked him, "What would Jesus want you to do?" He replied, "Obey." Just this morning, he picked up his toy cell phone and began talking away. "Caleb," I asked, "Who are you talking to?" He said, "God!" then continued on his way. Tonight we did a sing-along of "Jesus loves me." Let me tell you, it is a precious thing to hear your little boy sing, "He is strong!"
We try our best to use those everyday, teachable moments to help him see God more clearly. And as a parent, I see my desperate need for grace now more than ever. I remember hearing a friend praying over her little girl a few years ago..."Lord, let her see You and know You, despite my sins and failures." She was crying while praying this, and I will never forget that moment. Because I too, can now understand that plea.Proverbs 7:1-3 ESV, "My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart."