I get a double-whammy of nostalgia and hope on January 1st, because it’s not just a new calendar year, but it’s also a new year of Atticus’s life. I didn’t have much to say about 2013 as it faded away. It was a hard year for a lot of people in my life on many fronts: jobs, families, cancer, infertility. By October, I was ready to bid the year farewell (to put it nicely).
Except. By the end of the year, Atticus’s relationships with me and Mike were more balanced, taking the pressure off Mike and letting me feel like a vital part of our family rather than a third wheel in their buddy comedy. This was the year I finally felt like a mom, that mythical figure who cuts the crusts off sandwiches and tucks blankets around toes on the couch.
It’s pretty great.
There were a lot of things I saw Atticus do in 2013 that amazed me: his language exploded and he learned to share his toys a little bit and he adjusted like a boss to his new school. He started sleeping in a big bed and he gave up his pacifier and he got potty trained. He learned one thing after another and he did it with bright-eyed determination (and some temper tantrums) (and a few candy bribes). We had some seriously challenging moments (weeks, months), but the twos weren’t what I would call terrible, not by a long shot.
Atticus is a kid who never walks when he can run. He didn’t take a single cautious step, but was racing down the hall from the first moment he figured out how his legs worked. He’s basically a linebacker with a sweet spirit. I wouldn’t call him graceful by any means, but when I think about the way he approaches his life, the word that comes to mind is grace. Atticus teaches us every about the common graces of life when he falls and pops up yelling, “I’m ok!” He tries again and again when he wants to master something. He trusts us and he laughs and he throws himself into everything that he does.
Here’s to my three-year-old boy and his true grit. It’s what is saving my life this week.