Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Shoes for Two-Year Olds: Reboot (Pun, intended!)

First posted on July 8, 2013

This post was written for our now 5 year-old. It's funny to read this and see how his personality has remained. And now we have another almost 2-year old who loves to clomp around in everyone's shoes. And just like his brother's before him, we want him to try everything out and find what's just right for him...

Life is good: we all have our own shoes to wear and they fit just right!

My dear child,
I know that over the past several weeks, you have developed a great love for wearing the shoes of everyone in our family. And I enjoy watching you clomp around the house, smiling and giggling. It must feel very strange and silly to have those very big shoes hanging off of your tiny, little feet.

As I was watching you stomp, clomp, and boom around the living room today--in sheer delight, mind you--a thought came to my mind and I felt compelled to share it with you.

It is perfectly okay with me if you want to keep trying on daddy's, mommy's, and big brother's shoes. Trying on is just fine. But it is my ardent goal that as you grow, you will only try to fill the shoes of one person--you.

Daddy loves sports and I love art. Our house is filled with music. I hope you, at least, develop an appreciation for these things and the other things that interest us--books and travel and nature. And I pray that you are influenced by your parents' belief that education and preparation are important, that faith gets you through the tough times and makes the good times even better, that loyalty, honesty, and generosity are building blocks for a happy life.

It appears that you have inherited my enthusiasm and your daddy's persistence. I pray that both of these things will serve you as a strength. We will do our best to help you prevent them from being weaknesses. You are like your brother in many ways. And why wouldn't you be? You have the same DNA. I hope that your similarities will bond you further and make you enjoy time spent with each other. That you two will be good friends, not just siblings. That you will like each other as well as love each other. With all of this said, I don't want you to ever try to "fill our shoes", replicate, or copy us or anyone, for that matter. I want you to be you. I believe that God created you in a very intentional way. I believe he has a great plan and purpose for you--for each of us-- and I often pray that God will grant me what I need as your parent to encourage, emphasize, and empower you to be the person He intended you to be.

This means that while I would love for you to beg for art classes and daddy would be thrilled if you asked to practice shooting hoops and I am sure that your brother would like for you to do all of the things that he loves to do, I want for you to pursue what interests you. And I will do my best to be your head cheerleader, biggest fan, and ardent supporter. Karate, karaoke, juggling or judo. Piano or tuba, knitting or hackysack. (Oh, please not hockey or football or race car driving and other things that make for easy concussions!) Horseback riding, lacrosse, soccer, toothpick model making or cup stacking. French, Spanish, Portugese, or Chinese. World record breaking, basket weaving, geocaching, scuba diving, book making (as in notebooks not betting, please!). If it is your passion or you think it might be your passion, your daddy, brother and I will be there yelling the loudest (or whispering if it is chess club).

Ever since I even guessed that I might be pregnant with you, I have been wondering and dreaming and guessing about what you would be like. It has been a great joy to watch you grow and your character develop. The past six months have been especially wonderful as you have shown yourself to be so full of personality, spunk, and humor. I will never get tired of hearing you sing songs or giggle what could quite possibly be one of the two greatest sounds in the world (the other being your big brother's laugh). I love that you are the first to say, "Hi!" to any little person within ear shot and most other people, too. Your observation skills baffle me. You are joy-filled even when in need of a nap.

So I continue to salivate at the idea of your personality unfolding more. It is such a pedestrian phrase..."there is no one in this world exactly like you". And yet, it is such a profound statement if you truly ponder it. You are the only you in this entire world and I want for you to embrace that. Let it empower you. Let it guide you. Your family will be alongside to help you navigate. But we'll each wear our own pair of shoes. Just right for each one of us.

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