This photo is how I will remember Judah at 2. He is fun and hilarious and lovable and cuddly.
But 2 looks more like this most days:
The Terrible Twos are cliche but so, so accurate.
As Judah grows, it’s amazing how much of his personality does not change. He is stubborn. He is strong willed. He can do everything all by himself, thankyouverymuch. He is intensely curious and determined to figure everything out. He has been this way from the day he was born, and he will be this way on his 18th birthday and beyond.
In the past six months he’s developed all kinds of preferences and interests and an honest-to-goodness sense of humor.
He still loves Sesame Street, Curious George, and every type of animal under the sun. He’s also added trains (“choo choos”), Legos, and dinosaurs to his list of favorite things. We can sometimes hear a train in the distance from inside our house. When he hears it, Judah rushes to the window, looks outside and shouts, “CHOO CHOO!” When the train is gone, he looks at me dejectedly. “More! More choo choo! Please?”
He loves to play hide and seek, and often shouts “SURPRISE!” at me when I walk into a room. This, of course, is the funniest joke in the world to him, and he laughs and laughs.
The changes I’ve seen in him these past six months have been so much different than the ones in his first year-and-a-half. I felt like for that first 18 months, the milestones were so much clearer. Everyone around us was anticipating the next big step. “Has he rolled over yet?” “Is he crawling?” “Does he stand?” “He’s going to walk soon, isn’t he?” “What was his first word?”
The milestones he’s reaching now are much more subtle and complex. All of the sudden he’s engaging in complicated imaginative play. He’s anticipating the needs of others, and showing concern for people. When a cartoon or book character appears to be crying or upset, he says, “Is sad?” He’s slowly learning to communicate and relate and care for other people. These milestones aren’t as obvious as the crawling and the walking and the talking, but they are every bit as exciting and in some ways even more rewarding.
I know I may be biased, but I believe he may be one of the world’s best huggers.
Along with his stubbornness and strength of will and fierce independent streak, I hope he hangs on to that sensitive side, too. He is tough and rowdy and so male in ways I never anticipated he’d be at such a young age, and yet so incredibly sweet and caring beyond his two short years.
In the days following my miscarriage, I was profoundly sad, but I tried so hard to keep my head up. I know he’s paying much closer attention than I think, and the last thing I wanted was to upset him. But my hormones were all over the place, and there were moments when I couldn’t help but cry just a little. Every single time, Judah climbed into my lap, reached out, held my hand, and rested his head on my shoulder.
The first time it happened, I thought it was just a coincidence. Surely he’s not old enough to be comforting me, I thought. But after the third or fourth time, I realized that even a 2-year-old can recognize when someone he loves just needs a hug.
I hope, for my sake, he never outgrows that.