Wednesday, September 8, 2010

18 Months Later

Sweet Ethan Kendrick,

Today, you are 18 months old. A year and a half. Something about you hitting this milestone is making me a little sad. You're definitely not a baby anymore; in fact, you are quite the opposite. You proved to me just how big of a boy you are at the park this past weekend when you rode rides (all by yourself, mind you) with enthusiasm, and weren't scared a bit.

In fact, you threw a fit when you thought Daddy wasn't going to let you get on one ride in particular. You are opinionated, knowing what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. Ever since that day at the park, you have given me even more glimpses into your new world as a full-fledged toddler.

You are starting to run, you try your hardest to jump, and you really like to climb. You love to climb up and down the stairs, although you're no longer content to crawl up them, or scoot down. You insist on holding the rail and going up and down on your two feet, just like us big people do.

Recently, you have started to carry on pretend conversations with your play phone. It is so incredibly cute to see you raise and lower your eyebrows, and change the pitch of your voice. It sure does seem like whoever you're talking to has some interesting things to say! I definitely feel like you're interacting with others more and more (real and pretend!). You love to be read to, and can even be found looking through your books on your own. Melts my heart.

Your language is still very intentional. You label so many things in your environment, and have periods of some intense babbling every now and then; if only I knew what you were trying to tell me during those times! I often find myself trying to figure out how many words you say, but I tend to lose count. By far, the cutest things you say right now are "haar" (heart), as you point to your chest, and "frowr" (flower). I'm pretty sure you're going to have the southern twang, thanks to repeating everything after me.

You're also very interested in learning sign language, and that has been extremely helpful! Now, instead of fussing when you can't do something on your own, you sign "help". You ask us to open things for you, and you're very polite, signing "please" and "thank you".

Despite being a round, chubby baby, you are becoming tall and thin. Actually, a little too thin. Just today, we went to your 18-month check-up and everyone seems to be a little concerned about your weight. It's my mission to fatten you up in the next month so that you'll pass your next weight check with flying colors. You've done so well with eating and drinking lately, and I'm thankful that you've been free from your g-tube ... even if it is just for this short while.

I really do stand amazed when I look back over the past 18 months. I've had a front row seat to one of the greatest stories that has ever found its way into my life. I am so thankful that you've had a much deserved break from the poking and prodding, the surgeries, the scares. I hate that I'll be handing you over to a surgeon, yet again, at the end of this month. I hate that you'll be old enough to know that I'm not with you at every second, and that you'll sort of understand what's going on. I see it as a huge blessing that God has given you a friendly, social personality. Doctors and nurses don't scare or intimidate you. In fact, just yesterday, you took off down the halls of your cardiologist's office with one of the nurses. Your Daddy and I could have left and you wouldn't have thought twice about it. One thing's for sure, I'll have to keep a closer eye on you, but I'm so thankful that God has protected you from being afraid of strangers.

Lord knows you have every reason to be.

My favorite thing about you right now is how funny you are. I think it's apparent that you get that from your Daddy. You will do anything to make us laugh and, once you get that reaction, you go on and on and on. You crack yourself up at times, too, and what an awesome laugh you have!

I hope you'll read this one day, maybe when you're 18 years old, and know without a doubt just how proud I am of you. I hope you'll feel the love that radiates from your Daddy and me. I hope, by that point, technology will allow us to put an end to all the surgeries and pain. But, until that day comes, I'll be by your side, cheering you along, protecting you, and loving you with every fiber of my being.

Happy 18 months, Ethan. I love you.


Jamie Fenley said...

So sweet. He is so stinking cute, and those brown shoes are kickin! Happy year and a half, Ethan- you're such a miracle!

Anonymous said...

Beautifully written Joye. Happy 18 months Ethan.

With much love, Grandma A.

The Smith's said...

Happy 18 month birthday, Ethan! We are so proud of you. You are strong and courageous (and you have a pretty great mama!)

Stefenie said...

Happy 18 Months Ethan.

Joye this was a beautiful update for Ethan. I definitely miss those pre-toddler moments of excitedly chatting into the telephone with their "little friends" and starting to discover all of the amazing things they can do. {{{HUGS}}}

I know it will be hard to hand Ethan over for surgery again. It is never easy...never. Just know that God will be there to hold Ethan in his arms and guide the surgeons to do their job successfully. Praying for you!

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