You know what I wasn't really expecting from age three? I wasn't expecting to have conversations with Kyle like he's just another person I speak to in the course of my day. Which sounds ridiculous, I know, especially considering how often I spoke to three year olds before Kyle. But, still, the conversations have caught me by surprise. For example, while I'm brushing my teeth in the morning, Kyle will yell from his room about not being able to find a particular jacket he wants to wear and then I'll hear him mumble under his breath, "I thought it was right here." What is that? That's something a PERSON would say, a person with thoughts and opinions and memories completely apart from me. It's mind-blowing in an almost better way than the first steps and first words and first other things were.
I'll say, "Let's go to Target, we need hummus and paper towels and..." "I think we need juice, too." "Oh yeah?" "Yeah, I think we're out." LIKE HE'S JUST A PERSON, WHO NOTICES OUR JUICE LEVELS.
I was always more excited about having a child than I was about having a baby, if I'm being totally straight with you. Now, don't get me wrong. I LOVE BABIES. I love holding babies and buying things for babies and throwing baby showers and...handing babies back to their mothers. Give me a KID, that's more my speed. Still, I'm just repeatedly shocked, stunned, floored by how cool it is to have an actual conversation about football or Thanksgiving or new shoes with a person I MADE. I made him! And now I'm giving him an abbreviated story of the first Thanksgiving (minus all the plagues and deaths and stuff) and while I tell him about it, HE NODS. HE NODS AND RETAINS THE INFORMATION.
He's in this phase where he's starting to hear words I don't want him to repeat. Words like dumb and chubby (Tangled, what's up with the use of THAT?) and stupid and other words I just don't want him to use so flippantly and without thought. So, we tell him these words aren't nice or sweet and we should try to choose other words. Somehow, this has made him hesitant to use ANY word he's unfamiliar with. "Mommy, can I say the word...spectacular?" I just...the brain of a three year old. Guys, it's THE BEST THING EVER. (Also, yes. You can call your mother spectacular.)
Speaking of Tangled, we watched it this weekend for the first time and I loved the paper lanterns. You may remember we did this in Vieques (and nearly set the entire island on fire) and I've bought some to let go in our backyard for my 31st birthday. So, when we watched Tangled I said, "Oh, I want to do that for my birthday!" and when we watched the movie for a second time, Kyle turned to me when they first lit the lanterns and said, "Mommy, we're going to do that for your birthday. It's going to be beautiful."
We were getting groceries out of the car just tonight and Molly wandered out of the yard (AS SHE DOES) and Kyle said, "Oh, Molly! Get out of the street. Mom, she's in the street again." He was just potty-trained THIS YEAR and now he's rolling his eyes at Molly's disobedience WITH US. It's something else. It's really something else.
He's such a person, and I know this isn't NEWS and I'm not the first mother on earth to raise a baby into a person, but I have to tell you, there is the Grand Canyon and the Pyramids and Arches National Park (which literally caught my breath in my throat) and the Northern Lights and democracy and all those lions-and-puppies-as-friends YouTube videos and then there's having a real conversation with your child.
Miracles, all of them.