How did you grow into my 2 year old boy right before my eyes? Yesterday, you were playing in the little pool at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and I was telling Grandma how you have grown so tall and stretched out. You're no longer my baby Stevie. You're my little boy Stevie.
You have been quite the big brother to your new little sister too. When Lydia was born, that was the first time we spent nights away from each other. And really, that was the first time we spent days away from each other too. You don't nap well other places, so I was worried it was going to be a rough weekend while we were at the hospital. You surprised us though...and thrilled us. You still didn't nap super well, but you did sleep quite well at night in a new place at Grandma and Grandpa's. Grandpa said you woke up and fussed a bit the first night. He told you to lay down and go to sleep. You did! When you visited us in the hospital, you were a bit unsure of the place. (I think you get that from your Dad...hehe) You really didn't want to stay long. It was a bit bittersweet for me. I missed you and wanted to be with you, but I was so relieved you were always ready to leave with Grandpa and Grandma with barely a wave goodbye! I know, they are so much fun! You always have such a great time with them. You didn't have many thoughts about your baby sister when you saw her the first time. You let out a few "words", touched her for a second, and then turned your attention to the umbrella stroller Grandma brought you in.
We gave you a book of different trucks, boats, trains, planes, etc. You sat up with me on the bed and looked at the book. That was exciting until you noticed the iv in my arm and tried to pull it out...while I was looking at your book. You also wanted to press the buttons on that monitor too! Yup, we think you're a toddler boy!
You came again the next day, Easter Sunday. I think you were even more less than thrilled to be there that day. You and Daddy took a "man walk" together. Hand in hand, you walked to the freezer to get some special ice cream. Daddy said you talked the whole way (in your own language of course). You shared that chocolate goodness together back at the room.
The day we came home from the hospital, we went to Grandma and Grandpa's to pick you up. You, Nathanael, and Rachael were waiting for us outside with balloons! (And oh you love balloons.)
You were wearing your beloved green boots!
You certainly have a way of always making me smile...and chuckle, you cutie!
On our ride home, you didn't give your sister much of a glance. (Now that I'm thinking of it, you did give her one glance. Sort of, "Who are you?" And that was it.) And that first week or so, that was how it was. You just accepted her.
As the days passed though, you wanted to get more involved. And if she cried, you wailed along with her. Thinking the pacifier would cure any cries, you would try to help by giving her one. If one worked, for sure 2 would work better.
The pacifiers were also pretty funny to stick on your fingers. And, I'll be sure to share this with your future wife: You were interested in the whole nursing deal with this baby sister of yours. You would often lift up your shirt and inspect what was under there. (You did this a lot through the day...even at church.) I thought for sure you were going to try to nurse her one day. Didn't happen. You were also very interested in the pump, and any time I would pump, you wanted to sit on my lap and play with the dials. I didn't encourage that. (I can hear you now, all grown...gross, maybe, but as a toddler, quite hysterical) You would take spare parts that were drying on the counter and put them under your shirt...making us both laugh out loud!
You often go over to your sister and give me a panic because you appear to be trying to pick her up. However, those are your loving hugs. You like to sit next to her on the floor and touch her feet and her hands. Those are so funny to you. In your own way, I'm quite convinced you say, "Lyddie." When we first brought her home and she would cry and you would become so concerned, we would say, "Tell her, 'it's ok, Lyddie.'" Now, when she cries (and you don't), you melt my heart and say, "It's ok. It's ok." And she just loves you. She lights up when she sees you, and you love it when I say, "Stevie, she's looking at you! She's saying, 'Hi, big brother!'" Lydia is going to learn from you, Stevie. We hope she picks up on your joy and reflects it too.
At Lydia's first Dr's appointment, just a couple of days old, you stood right by her carseat with one hand on the handle, gently rocking her. You watched as others walked by with pride and a protective spirit. You never let go of her seat. Dad and I were so proud of you. We hope you continue to love your sister, that you two grow in friendship, and that you will continue to seek to protect her (even though we think she'll be a tough cookie hanging around you). You might not be the baby of the family and an only child anymore, but you will always be my only Stephen, my little Stevie and my big Stevie (and I'm sure, eventually, Steve.) You're becoming quite the little man already, and what a privilege and responsibility it is for me to be a part of that growing and training process. I'm so thankful to have these little boy years with you...even moreso now that I see glimpses of who you'll be when you're grown. I love you so much, Stevie.