Can I tell you that Nico has been our easiest child in so many ways? And that was the most surprising thing. We would lay him down to sleep and lo and behold he would sleep. He enjoyed other people. You could set him down. You could put him in a swing. Nico's needs were simple - he needed to eat and to sleep. If those were fulfilled you had a happy baby. We did not think was possible after our first experience. To this day, I always say that Nico is JOY. God's gift to that child has been to infuse him with JOY. Yes, nowadays, there are temper tantrums and loud NOS! and all the other frustrations of 3 year old but oh, the joy that is held within that tiny body made up of cheeks and lips and big blue eyes.
It is Nico that can cheer Fia up at a moment's notice. It is Nico that cuddles his mama each morning and is always ready to be read to when a lap is available. It is Nico that sets off on adventures each morning whether riding his bike or simply heading off to the toy closet to see what adventures he can make for himself. It is Nico that during play by yourself time can create whole worlds of cars and dinosaurs and superheroes and spin dialogue out of nothing at all.
I can't imagine this family without the comic relief that is found in my boy. He is sweetness and light wrapped up in a messy, muddy package that comes with permanently tousled hair and a sturdy pair of boots regardless of the season. He keeps us from getting too comfortable in our quiet little world of girliness - this house that would revolve around crafts, tea parties, school work and reading has had to expand to include dirt piles, wrestling, sports of all kinds and baking that involves leaving no area of the body or kitchen unscathed.
And, I must say, I have a newfound respect for mothers of grown boys. For while Fia is my heart, Nico is my joy. In knowing him and loving him, I experience such joy. I can't imagine the day that I will have to share that joy with another woman - will she be worthy of my little man? Will she care for him as I have always cared for him? Will she make him his favorite pesto pizza and homemade jam? Will she love his complete lack of awareness? Will she treasure those lips and cheeks and big blue eyes? Will she experience the same joy in knowing and loving him?
I suppose I will have to trust God on this one. I will have to prepare now a bit for the eventual leaving. For one day, if we do our job right, this precious baby boy will grow and leave and start a family of his own (although at this point this seems an impossibility). For today I will eagerly await his getting up so that we can cuddle, content in the knowledge that joy will rest it's head on my chest for yet another day. And perhaps, I will be a bit more aware that I have another mama's boy, another mama's joy in my house. That the growing and leaving has already taken place for another woman, that another woman's treasure was given to me. So not only will I cuddle my little man, but also my big man knowing that as I do I honor another woman's sacrifice and gift to me.