Lately I keep looking at Drew and feeling like I'm just seeing him for the first time in years. "When did he get so big? so clever? so ornery? so independent?" We are in the midst of planning his upcoming b-day party , and I can't help but think that it is all going way too fast (not the planning...but his actual life!) I miss my little toddler who liked to cuddle in the morning and snooze in his car seat. I miss hearing him say words like "twazy" or "mama".
Drew is growing in other ways, not just in physical size or vocabulary. He is becoming more perceptive of the world around him, particularly the realities of our home. In early December, one of our teens (who Drew was quite fond of) left abruptly. For weeks Drew would ask where he was, especially on Christmas or at dinner. Then he stopped mentioning him as much. This week I was telling Drew that we had a new friend coming to live with us. The conversation went like this.
"Is he big or little?" Drew asked.
"Big...like Brandon," I replied.
"I don't want him to come." Drew said.
"Why not, Drew?" I was shocked that he said that. He always has a "the more the merrier"attitude.
Drew thought a moment and said, "Is he going to stay?"
At almost three years old, Drew is learning the same heart-wrenching lessons that we are: it stinks when they leave and its hard to just keep loving again. I told him that our friend would stay for a little while, but I didn't know how long. Drew said he would think about it.
The first night that our new resident was here, Drew began to say goodnight to everyone as he always does. He walked up to the new guy, yelled "good night!" and wrapped his little arms around his legs. The teen was obviously surprised that Drew would hug him, but bent down to hug him back. I was proud of him...proud of both of them actually. We aren't the only ones in this house who are learning to love and trust again.
Its startling how early those parental feelings kick in and make you want to protect, to guard, to somehow keep the world from hurting your little guy. But I see Drew growing and learning from the things around him, and I am thankful for the confidence we have in God's care and provision for him.
And so, Drew will be three in nine days. We'll be out of the terrible two's (which I thought were pretty terrific) and into the next phase. We're planning a "construction" party, in keeping with Drew's new love for "x-avators" and "ment mixers". He has also announced that he is ready to learn his letters, pee standing up, and needs more time with his friends.
Though my first reaction is "Look out, Drew!", maybe instead I should be thinking, "Look out, world, here comes Drew!"