This is one of the final days before we officially expand into a family of 4. (Or 5 if you include our sweet, stub-tailed son Dom.) What follows is my attempt to briefly document this glistening moment in time. Years from now, I want to be able to look back and recall what it was like when 3 was company, before our 4th member makes us a happy crowd.
So here’s a brief and unassuming little time capsule of images and impressions from Greyson’s last days as an only child — and our last days as “only parents.”
- The family that walks together, stays together. If that well-worn axiom (which I just coined) is true, then we’re in good shape. Lately we’ve been walking as if our lives depend on it. And not just because we’re trying to generously assist gravity in the inexorable process of drawing our baby out into the world. But also because walking is our sacred ritual. Some of the best conversations Danielle and I have had unfold organically in the fresh air as we gaze at the countryside horizon ahead of us, putting one foot ahead of the other and unpeeling our brains and our hearts on any number of subjects. Fresh air is a magical thing.
- Greyson is currently in a cute, acute puzzling phase. (Which is not to say that his cute behavior is puzzling to us.) He assembles, disassembles, and re-assembles wooden puzzles with intense focus and intense delight. Up until now, he’s been all about cars and trucks and books and letters. His puzzling flair began a few months ago, around the time he turned 2. We’re amazed at how quickly he’s gotten the knack for it. Does his puzzling prowess prove him a prodigy? It’s too early to say. (But yes.)
- As I’ve extensively documented, Greyson has loved nature pretty much from the moment he exited the womb. As far as it is in my power, I will continue to foster this affinity in every way I can. There is not much that makes me prouder than to see him serenely engaged in the world around him, content in my arms (or running along on his own) during our morning nature walks.
- Our family is, quite happily, almost entirely vegan now. Our only real exceptions are eggs and honey. Danielle and I are on the same page about our herbivorous inclinations, as we have been since our first date in 2009. At that point I had just begun a vegetarian experiment a week earlier, and she was 7 years deep in being meat-free. Crazy timing, eh? The dietary solidarity we’ve had ever since is a wonderful thing, and we don’t for a second feel we’re missing out on anything of value in the culinary department. (If anything, I think everyone else in the world is missing out on Danielle’s scintillating herbivorous cooking.) I’ll save my expanded thoughts on this subject for another post — click here for one I already wrote — but suffice it to say for posterity’s sake that 2018 is the year we shifted fully from a vegetarian to a vegan family diet.
- Greyson’s 2-year-old palate isn’t as broad as we’d like it to be. But in addition to fruit and other snacks, he devours pasta and veggie burgers and veggie-laden smoothies, and even a slightly-toned-down version of his mama’s pad Thai. Plus he has zero interest in junk food because we’ve never given him a taste for it. So there are enough wins on the ledger to make up for those agonizing days when he staunchly refuses to eat a single vegetable — other than the ones we deviously smuggle inside the belly of a Trojan horse into his belly.
- Library visits are now part and parcel of our Saturday morning schedule. I hope and fully intend to maintain this ritual for years to come. Greyson enjoys playing in the children’s area with an entirely new set of toys (little animals! little trains! little people!), and he equally enjoys the truckload of fresh reading material we haul back home afterward. Danielle and I adamantly believe that libraries are one of the last bastions of sanity in an increasingly un-sane world. We will do everything we can to pass this belief along to our bookworm babies, who will hopefully grow into bookworm adolescents, bookworm teenagers, and beyond.
- Storytime with Greyson is a shining highlight of every day for me. As he has done for months, he points at just about every vehicle of transport (“tuck [truck]! di-cyc [bicycle]! he-cop [helicopter]!”) he sees on the page, as well as most animals and a handful of objects he also likes to identify. His favorite books to have me read to him are about Little Quack the duck, Franklin the turtle, and any of the oddly disproportionate number of books we have about bears. Greyson still has a tendency to lean in and kiss certain pages, on which animal parents kiss their animal children, and while we know this quirk will not last forever, we are savoring every heart-swelling moment we have. There’s no question that Danielle and I have found books to be a superbly effective form of bonding.
Our life is admittedly a low-key one, centered around one shining goal: To raise Greyson as best we can, surrounding him with books and nature and all the love we have to offer him. In a matter of days, we will be graced with another child who will quickly be inundated with all of the same warmth and beauty.
The well-known mystery of parental love is that unlike any other natural resource, it’s not a finite quantity. We have a boundless supply on reserve. So even though we’ll soon need to spread our love between two children, Greyson will never experience any decrease in the amount or the intensity of love he receives from us.
Whether or not he gets jealous of the baby is another story.
One thought on “A Capsule of Time”
You sure chose a beautiful location to enjoy those family walks!… Fairly “un-sane” as you say. Can’t wait to see Greyson become a Big Brother!