The Story of Three

February 7, 2018

IMG_8617.jpg

When I get home late and miss bedtime, hear about something sad or am just feeling in over my head, I step inside Will’s room at night and stand at his door as the light from the bathroom shines in just enough that I can see all of his face, his puffy cheeks, his chubby hands. I stand there and breathe him in. I breathe in his day, his antics, the sweat he poured from running with Gage, the laughter he offered in response to something his dad said. I breathe in the way his brow furrows when it’s not my turn to take him out of the car seat. I breathe in his existence and in that same space we both exist. I know it sounds crazy but sometimes I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the truth that he is mine and I am his.

Will turned three this weekend, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time scrolling photos on my phone, lying in bed with tears streaming down my face while Kasey looks over in confusion. The other night after I found pictures from his first and second birthday, I climbed out of bed and snuck in his room for a quick glance. I stood at the door and took a deep breath. Like an episode of Friends looking back at the highlight reel of the season, this is what I remembered:

***

One morning last spring he got up early and did his best to make me late to work. As he sat on the counter while I made us a smoothie he peered over at the blender and said “What in the world?” and I thought I might pass out from the inundation of cuteness.

This summer he learned to say “hold me” instead of “hold you” and I felt like he jumped from toddler to middle schooler in one moment.

In September he learned how to go potty on his own. I think because we spent so many awkward moments standing next to him he had to lighten the mood. When he finishes going pee he slyly looks in our direction with a guilty smile. Every time. 

Another image that popped up was the image of me googling “toddler prefers dad” just to make sure I hadn’t made some egregious error that lead my son to following his dad everywhere he went. Bathroom included. To say Will looks up to his dad would be an understatement. I thought I had about a decade until I had to learn how to be the uncool mom, but apparently that training starts now. But you know what? It’s okay because I know I’m the one who will figure out how to get his poop out, I’m the one who studies his sleep patterns and food intake like I’m getting another Master’s degree, and I feel at home knowing that. (Thank God for Kelly Corrigan and her book Glitter and Glue on this very same topic.)

We have a special handshake in this house that Will started. Every night before bed and every morning before I leave for work, we do this routine, in this order: high five, knuckles, hug, and kiss. Recently he’s put a spin on it and as he stands in the crib (that we’re holding onto so that he can’t wake us up at 4 a.m.) he does it with his eyes closed and in slow motion. When it comes to the kiss I quietly pull back so that he almost falls and, every night, it cracks us up.

This fall he experienced his first loss when we had to say goodbye to our Golden Retriever Bailey. Every night Will would lay on Bailey and she would take it, letting him climb on her and roll his trucks on her. It hurt like hell and also made me feel so proud to hear him say “I miss Bailey.” He felt the loss in a true way and expressed those feelings, even though life is different for him now that she’s gone.

On the eve of his 3rd birthday, he stood in the doorway between our kitchen and living room and said “Hey everybody, who wants to play a game? Raise your hand!” We raised our hands and I choked back tears at this little baby of mine who all of a sudden has ideas and plans and wants to organize ways that I can be apart of them.

***

This is the story of this year: three individual people in this house. Will has opinions and ideas and articulates them well. When he’s upset he sobs and cries “I’m feeling frustrated.” When he sees a beautiful sunset as we drive by Pines Park he raises his eyebrows and says “Oh, bro!!!! Oh, bro!!” He’s the third person in our family, influencing where we go and what we do, how we eat and how we pray.

Watching him grow and learn and ask questions and watch his dad so closely is still the greatest gift I’ve been given. When life is hard and I feel like I’m losing a grip on a healthy perspective, or we’ve just finished an episode of This is Us, I step back into his bedroom and watch. The ordinary view of him resting, his breath so quiet I still put a hand on his back to double check the way I did when he was 9 pounds, reminds me of both the bigness and smallness of it all. His life is big and meaningful yet also so simple and so small you can still tuck him in a crib.

Will’s Birth Story

Will’s First Year

Will’s Second Year

Work with me

share this post

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

IMG_8617.jpg

When I get home late and miss bedtime, hear about something sad or am just feeling in over my head, I step inside Will’s room at night and stand at his door as the light from the bathroom shines in just enough that I can see all of his face, his puffy cheeks, his chubby hands. I stand there and breathe him in. I breathe in his day, his antics, the sweat he poured from running with Gage, the laughter he offered in response to something his dad said. I breathe in the way his brow furrows when it’s not my turn to take him out of the car seat. I breathe in his existence and in that same space we both exist. I know it sounds crazy but sometimes I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the truth that he is mine and I am his.

Will turned three this weekend, so I’ve spent a fair amount of time scrolling photos on my phone, lying in bed with tears streaming down my face while Kasey looks over in confusion. The other night after I found pictures from his first and second birthday, I climbed out of bed and snuck in his room for a quick glance. I stood at the door and took a deep breath. Like an episode of Friends looking back at the highlight reel of the season, this is what I remembered:

***

One morning last spring he got up early and did his best to make me late to work. As he sat on the counter while I made us a smoothie he peered over at the blender and said “What in the world?” and I thought I might pass out from the inundation of cuteness.

This summer he learned to say “hold me” instead of “hold you” and I felt like he jumped from toddler to middle schooler in one moment.

In September he learned how to go potty on his own. I think because we spent so many awkward moments standing next to him he had to lighten the mood. When he finishes going pee he slyly looks in our direction with a guilty smile. Every time. 

Another image that popped up was the image of me googling “toddler prefers dad” just to make sure I hadn’t made some egregious error that lead my son to following his dad everywhere he went. Bathroom included. To say Will looks up to his dad would be an understatement. I thought I had about a decade until I had to learn how to be the uncool mom, but apparently that training starts now. But you know what? It’s okay because I know I’m the one who will figure out how to get his poop out, I’m the one who studies his sleep patterns and food intake like I’m getting another Master’s degree, and I feel at home knowing that. (Thank God for Kelly Corrigan and her book Glitter and Glue on this very same topic.)

We have a special handshake in this house that Will started. Every night before bed and every morning before I leave for work, we do this routine, in this order: high five, knuckles, hug, and kiss. Recently he’s put a spin on it and as he stands in the crib (that we’re holding onto so that he can’t wake us up at 4 a.m.) he does it with his eyes closed and in slow motion. When it comes to the kiss I quietly pull back so that he almost falls and, every night, it cracks us up.

This fall he experienced his first loss when we had to say goodbye to our Golden Retriever Bailey. Every night Will would lay on Bailey and she would take it, letting him climb on her and roll his trucks on her. It hurt like hell and also made me feel so proud to hear him say “I miss Bailey.” He felt the loss in a true way and expressed those feelings, even though life is different for him now that she’s gone.

On the eve of his 3rd birthday, he stood in the doorway between our kitchen and living room and said “Hey everybody, who wants to play a game? Raise your hand!” We raised our hands and I choked back tears at this little baby of mine who all of a sudden has ideas and plans and wants to organize ways that I can be apart of them.

***

This is the story of this year: three individual people in this house. Will has opinions and ideas and articulates them well. When he’s upset he sobs and cries “I’m feeling frustrated.” When he sees a beautiful sunset as we drive by Pines Park he raises his eyebrows and says “Oh, bro!!!! Oh, bro!!” He’s the third person in our family, influencing where we go and what we do, how we eat and how we pray.

Watching him grow and learn and ask questions and watch his dad so closely is still the greatest gift I’ve been given. When life is hard and I feel like I’m losing a grip on a healthy perspective, or we’ve just finished an episode of This is Us, I step back into his bedroom and watch. The ordinary view of him resting, his breath so quiet I still put a hand on his back to double check the way I did when he was 9 pounds, reminds me of both the bigness and smallness of it all. His life is big and meaningful yet also so simple and so small you can still tuck him in a crib.

Will’s Birth Story

Will’s First Year

Will’s Second Year

Work with me

hey, i'm corrie!

I help people-driven companies, large and small, connect with their kind of people with brand voice strategy + personalized copy. A believer in public schools and Ted Lasso, I love getting to champion the best version of your brand. 

share this post

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