I have come to accept that over the course of the next year I will miss some firsts. And I am in the process of accepting that that is okay. I don’t need to witness the first everything. Instead, I will focus on the adorable, wonderful, frustrating, awesome, silly, things that Alex does now, even if they aren’t brand new. Even if I wasn’t the first to see, or notice.
Take, for example, Alex’s use of “a piece of.”
It all started with his birthday cake. “Alex, do you want a piece of birthday cake?”
“Yeah! A piece of birfday cake!”
Then, for the rest of that day he would ask for a piece of birthday cake. Then, for the entirety of the next few days he would ask for a piece of birthday cake. Then, he would ask for a piece of anything.
“A piece of a yogurt?”
“A piece of milk?”
“A piece of orange juice?”
“A piece of blueberries?”
“A piece of medicine?”
He’s also mastered the understanding of half. He knows when something is broken in half, he sometimes fusses when things break in half, and he has even demanded that I cut things in half. “Cut it in half!” “No! No break in half!”
A few weeks ago, he asked me to cut his milk in half. He was not terribly understanding when I explained to him that I wasn’t able to cut his milk.
It’s the little things that will keep me going this year:
The fact that Alex finally (sometimes) says “Thank You,” even if it comes out as one big word: “Tankoooo!”
The fact that Alex almost always says “Bless you” when someone sneezes. Even himself. He reminds us all to be polite.
The fact that Alex continues to call Batman “Fatman.”
The fact that Alex runs up to me on the days I am able to pick him up from daycare, yelling, “Mommy!” while waving his arms enthusiastically and immediately asking to be picked up for a big hug and kiss.
The fact that Alex loves to build things. He asks regularly to “build a tower? Build a house? Build a tunnel?”
The fact that Alex tells us directly when he doesn’t like something. “NO WIKE IT!” (His “L” sound is still a struggle.)
I take these little moments and remember them throughout my long days at school. When a patient asks me about my life, which so far every one has, I share the little stories of my son with them. It’s amazing what a difference the silly little anecdotes can make for my sanity and for the comfort of someone in pain. I even had a patient tell me, “no wike it!” when I asked how their lunch was that day; a big smile formed across their face.
These little moments have not been well documented in photo form lately. I haven’t touched my camera in two weeks. But I keep these moments in my head, and here in written form. I may end up missing out on a few weeks of Alex’s growth in photos here and there, but I will do my best to keep up with his life here. Even if it means taking ten minutes out of my weekend studying, because I’d rather miss a question on an exam than forget that when Alex was 2 years old he was obsessed with Caillou, screamed, “NO WIKE IT!” and gave the sweetest kisses.