Tomorrow is Nate's first day of real school and it's been an eternity since I've written here. I've been busy, overwhelmed, tired, cranky, and still massively in love with these children of mine.
Nate and I are in the middle of a wonderful friendship. I've worked on myself, he's outgrowing the truly-terrible-threes, and we're getting on so well. I've learned when to make him laugh instead of enforcing discipline; he's being incredibly helpful and sweet.
Last night we had dinner at a friend's house and their little boy scared Jack and made him cry pretty hard. I picked him up to comfort him and a few seconds later I felt Nate at my knees; I looked down to see him bringing over a singing Elmo toy that Jack had loved earlier in the day. He played it over and over, trying to get Jack to stop crying. Keep in mind that he had been playing with the new love of his life, Maddie, who thrilled him with her video games and casual use of the words "stupid" and "hate" which we don't use in our house. He wanted to help Jack so much that he stepped away from Maddie for the first time all night.
Earlier yesterday we were heading downtown to the mall with my friend Emily and her new boyfriend Joe. I decided to leave Stewart at home with Jack who really needed a nap. I went to gather Jack up to put him down before leaving and Nate implored me "But I want him to come with us! I love him!" It was out of left field and it was the first time he'd ever said he loves Jack.
I took both boys to a "bounce house" place last week for a chance to run around and have fun. Nate was loving the huge inflated slide and even Jack was getting in on the action, climbing up the sloped "ladder" and sliding down the slide. On one trip up the ladder, a bunch of kids sped up past Jack which momentarily confused him and he stopped climbing and looked around. I watched as Nate was about to be the next kid to speed right by him and was really surprised when Nate noticed Jack and stopped. He took Jack's left hand, helped him stand up, and walked him all the way to the top of the ladder (with about 8 kids bottle-necked behind them). He sat down next to Jack and slid down holding his hand, then took him back to the ladder and escorted him all the way back up again. He's amazing.
A few days ago Nate called to me from bed and something about his tone sounded urgent. I ran up the stairs to him, opened the door, and he said to me "You don't have to rush!" He's appreciative and warm these days, shockingly considerate of others.
When I put him to bed at night, Nate asks me if I'll lay with him for a few minutes. I lay down next to him and stroke his back and we talk about little things. Sometimes he throws his arm around me and we have a bit of a cuddle. I tell him he's my favorite boy, my sweet guy, and how incredibly proud I am of him.
I am incredibly proud of him.