Carter will celebrate a birthday later this week and I have to say that I am almost comically nostalgic about it. Although each day looks much like the one that came before it he is changing very quickly. The shy, underweight and wan little boy who arrived home with us early last summer has been replaced by a happy, exuberant, healthy bouncy toddler. As his parents our job right now is to help him get through all the day to day challenges that make up the life of any toddler. Our two favourite words right now are "No." and "Gentle".
It seems like every parent likes to complain about how expensive and time consuming their children are. We are no different. But the caveat for all you non-parents out there is that your children will be as time consuming and as expensive as you want them to be. As parents the very best we can do is to lay a sturdy foundation for him and hopefully he will be smart enough and confident enough to build on it over time. I want Carter to consume a considerable amount of my time and energy, especially right now while we're laying the foundation. We've set up our lives in such a way that it's mostly a joy to spend time together, whether we're at work or at home. Although solid foundations need not be expensive I also want to provide him with stimulation in other ways, some of which cost money. Carter is enrolled in part time daycare with several local children who match him in age. If it all works out as we hope it will he will go through our rural elementary and high school with some of the children as his lifelong friends. Our local primary school is only a mile away from our farm and the high school sits just up the road from it. We did a lot of planning ahead before we purchased our land and we were thinking at least as much about building our lives as we were about building our business.
Carter's favourite thing to do at this moment in time is to initiate family hugs. He climbs up on either Melissa or me and pulls us by the neck until we're all three touching heads together. As we lift him and hug him tight he always laughs with pure joy like he's got the whole world by the tail. He's seldom the only one laughing. I wish those moments could last forever because I feel that way too. I never understood why parents wanted to freeze moments in time but I do now. If I could freeze that one, I would do so.
Happy birthday son. Your mom and dad love you very, very much.
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