My son is two years and two months old, 730 days and some change. I’ve been drafting his second year blog post since December, but it just sits in my Google Drive folder because I’m waiting to craft the story of his second year in just the right way. Waiting to make the time to finish it, waiting to understand what this year has meant for him, but for me as well.
0-1 was all about attachment. We were connected in so many sleepless ways, Will and I. It was a foggy time, but a time where anything outside of Will, his eating, his sleeping, and mine and Kasey’s discussions about Will’s eating and sleeping was in my peripheral vision.
But then he turned one and slowly the fog lifted and we became three separate persons.
1-2 was about Will coming alive as his own person.
Kasey and I reveled in him taking his first real steps on Valentine’s Day at Kasey’s mom and dad’s house. My heart swells when I envision him having such a significant milestone on the same floor where his dad grew up, where his eight cousins learned to walk, run, play soccer and basketball, etc. He suddenly became one of the bunch that I longed for him to be a part of.
March Madness hit and Will’s obsession with basketball was born. We cracked up at his obsession with basketball, learning to dribble and shoot the ball on the hoop his Uncle Mark and Auntie Keri got him for his birthday. That was the season the Warriors won75 games, which is to say Will had lots of inspiration to draw from. He learned how to cheer on players on the tile floors of our beach cottage, celebrating every Steph Curry three.
I got to try out a new phase of motherhood going to the zoo with Shannon and her two boys. Watching Will experience such a “big kid” activity felt like an eternity from the days of shooshing him to sleep as I paced his bedroom at 3:00 in the morning.
In the spring and fall we spent weekends walking from our home on Marquita to Linda Lane Park, and then onto the beach trail to find the swings just to the left of the pier. Every time we did this I was reminded of that walk on the days leading up to his birth, feeling so strong and alive. That beach trail is hallowed ground, as it was also the place I ran to in the years before Will’s existence. It’s a marker for our journey as a family, gently reminding me that there is a bigger story at play.
In June we packed up toys and beach gear and all of our clothes and moved up to camp. This was the slowest time, just me following Will all over camp. We walked to the volleyball pit, the train, the field, and the pool, over and over and over again. We had no agenda and no hurry, so we just did exactly what he wanted to do. We slowed down and did one or two things a day and that was enough. We ate entire watermelons together, learned how to paint pictures and his body. We hopped in the Pilot and raced to Reimers to get ice cream right before dinner. (I have no idea why he never wanted to eat dinner.)
Then we moved home and the three of us were united. I remember the quiet moments in our own home. I remember the day he discovered dirt, sitting in his clothes on the spot in our backyard that Kasey was trying to fix, taking breaks from digging to run and see if Uncle Mark’s plane was flying above. I’d sit in the rocker in the backyard while Kasey grilled dinner and I wondered if there was anything more perfect than that moment.
That October we went to see a few of Peter’s football games. Sitting just outside the endzone watching all the big kids play, Will watched intently and learned how to throw a spiral better than his mama.
And then, much to his momma’s chagrin, we took Will to get his first haircut. It was the Barber on El Camino Real, the same one Barnes went to a week before. He sat on his dad’s lap looking so serious and concerned as Dale gently clipped the red curls I loved so much. Kasey looked on with pride as his baby became a toddler. There was a moment where Will caught a glimpse of his new look in the mirror and he buried his face in Kasey’s shoulder, taken aback by how different he looked. It was the sweetest moment for those two, and I tried not to sob at how this baby was now a boy.
Halloween rolled around and we continued our tradition of eating chili and drinking yummy drinks only found in red solo cups, traipsing around the prettiest part of San Clemente with our good friends. Will and I were firefighters and Kasey was the Dalmatian. I loved having the same costume as Will– it made me feel like a girlfriend must feel when she wears her high school boyfriend’s jersey.
His second Christmas was even better than his first. We got to spend three days with Kasey’s family in Brian Head Utah, where Will experienced snow for the first time. Watching an almost-two-year old in a snow suit has to be one of the cutest images. He loved sledding with Evie, giggling and telling his dad to send him down again.
We flew home, washed a few clothes and re-packed so spend Christmas with my family in Napa. He rolled sugar cookies with Phil and frosted them with me. On Christmas morning he enjoyed every moment unwrapping his train sets and backpack and soccer ball.
There were 1,000 other moments and stories, but the ones that I remember the most are the ones that happened on a normal Tuesday morning. When his sleep was off (when is it really ON?), sometimes he would wake up before I left for work. My job was to try to keep him quiet until Kasey was ready to take over for the before-daycare race. When he woke up in his footie pajamas, his cheeks were a bit rosy, and extra smooth. His eyes were a bit puffy from his sleep or the lack thereof. He always wanted a smoothie, so he sat on the counter while I got the ingredients.
This mundane, simple part of parenting is my absolute favorite. It’s when it feels like the whole world is on pause and I get to experience him with my whole heart and whole mind. It’s just me and my son and I have him all to myself, and I am all he sees or wants. I think it brings me back to his earliest days, when we learned what he looked like when he yawned or pooped his pants. Back to when everything around me seemed to stand still and I didn’t care how late I was or by the fact that I was wearing the same black leggings and long tank top for the fourth day in a row.
There are so many changes from ages 1-2. When I was still nursing and he wasn’t one yet, it was a bit easier to compartmentalize my mind and my priorities. Will needed me physically so much of my day and night that I didn’t have as many options to make anything or anyone else a priority.
As he got older and more independent, I gained a bit more of myself back. I am grateful for this, that is for sure. But it began a new path for me as a mother, one that requires me to be far more intentional about my decision-making. It means that I am in the throes of the great balancing act. I have a husband who I love and want to go on dates with. I have friends I want to see. I have projects at work that are exciting and time-consuming.Yet at the very same time, my heart aches to be the only one my son wants. The only one he knows and needs.
I know that this routine and way of life is best for our family. We want him to be loved by his mom and dad and his caregiver, to have parents who are passionate about their work and talk excitedly about their day. I love that my students know Will Myers and his latest milestones, and that he knows I go to my “cassroom” every day.
I suppose what I’ve begun to learn is how I am alive as my own person as well. Learning to be both Corrie Myers and Will’s mom at the same time. I know this is going to be something I learn for the rest of my life, but I think it’s important that I start to feel those rhythms right now when he’s young. I want to be confident in what God created me to do and be, trusting that he will be with Will when I can’t. I want him to grow up knowing his momma loves her students and her job but loves him more. It’s going to take a lifetime to figure that out.
I have made my share of mistakes. I’ll stay at work a bit too late trying to accomplish one more task before I get Will, and then inevitably I drive home kicking myself that it’s past the time I usually leave to get him. But there are times where I get it right, when instead of making a bunch of playdates and plans, the three of us walk to the park and come home to shoot 1,000 hoops before his nap.
Not a day goes by that I am not overwhelmingly grateful that this is the content for this chapter of our story. Grateful that I get to make these mistakes and fix them the next day, grateful that there’s a little boy who sleeps in a crib down the hall from me, ready to be his own person.