With no rest for the weary, our busy weekend has spilled right over into the week. Sutton had his 18 month checkup today, which although a welcome task, was also a sobering realization that time is flying by. I can’t believe it has been a year and half since I gave birth to our son! Although some may cringe at the thought of taking their little one to the doctor, for us it’s a time to chart Sutton’s progress, evaluate his health and ask any lingering questions. Today, Sutton weighed in at just over 20 pounds, with his length, head circumference and muscle tone being on target given his adjusted age of 15 months. His pediatrician seemed especially impressed with how engaged Sutton is with his surroundings, and how verbal he is. He is walking, talking, healthy and happy, and even though we believe we are good stewards of Sutton’s health and well being, it is reassuring to hear the encouragement from his pediatrician.
But being a first time parent means to learn as you go, and let go when you have to. Brad and I are not perfect parents, and we were even sent home from the doctor’s office with some homework. Assignment #1: The scribble test. Our pediatrician has encouraged art time for Sutton, and said at this age he should be allowed to draw/scribble with a crayon and create to his heart's content. As crafty as I am, it just never occurred to me to let him draw or paint. For some reason, I thought he was too young for crayons, concerned that they would end up in his mouth instead of on paper. But getting the green light on the messier play things is all I needed, and tomorrow we will start daily “art lessons.” I know it will be a fun and welcome addition to our play time, and I’m really looking forward to it! Assignment #2: Throwing a ball. Sutton can tell you the name of every kind of ball, but the doctor wants him to be able to throw them. And not just plunk it down, he should be able to throw a ball a few feet in front of him in a forward motion. That one doesn’t sound so bad – we can work on that. Assignment #3 (and my least favorite): It’s time start considering the dreaded toddler bed. Boo hiss. Sutton is my baby, and if I could keep him in that crib for another two years I would be happy. Toddler bed = big boy, and I’m just not ready for my sweet baby to be a big boy yet. But that is the reality I am facing: my son is not a baby, and in six months he will be two years old.
My husband always gently reminds me how blessed we are to have such a sweet, smart, healthy boy, and that his ability to thrive and grow given his beginnings is a testament to how far he has come. That’s all it takes: I realize he is right, and I submit in the smallest ways. Sutton doesn’t wear those cute baby diaper covers any more, he wears plaid surfer shorts. Sutton doesn’t need the toys that rattle or Elmo anymore, he loves Sid the Science Kid and basketball. He won’t even let me hold him that much anymore, because as anyone who has a toddler knows, he can do it himself now. Oh, how we are blessed – Sutton is growing and I am learning to let go with love.
…just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.