Last year, this month. Can you believe it? That little chubby-cheeked toddler is now a boy, a real boy! With more important thoughts than he can express in a day, a deep, abiding love for legos and being outside, and an ongoing inner battle: to be sweet to baby Sis or not to be?
Oh, I love my Gage. He is full of mischief. I love that his sensitive side comes out with me and that even in the worst of tantrums, when I open my arms, he runs into them to find refuge. I have to remind myself that this little guy had me and Steven all to himself for two-and-a-half years before Kjel came along. Sharing Mommy and Daddy is even harder than sharing toys and treats. But he does so gracefully (most of the time) and has become the advocate, fierce protector (or bee-dector), and endless source of giggles for his little princess. Gage can make us all laugh to tears, convince us with his insane mind-powers to read just one more book, give him one more treat, or give him five more minutes at the playground. I think it's his chocolaty eyes and long lashes that brush against his pink cheeks in the most gentle, sweet way. He has more tenderness in that little heart than I think he even knows.
Kjel has gone from tiny baby to a toddler. She has gentle eyes and a nurturing soul. She shrieks with joy when she catches Gage laying down (rare... he's an active kid), and will run to his side, lift up his shirt and tickle his belly just the way he likes. He'll lay there in a trance and then she'll give him a big slobbery kiss, signaling that she's done, and it's time to play. She's affectionate, silly and unassuming. She'll wait for you patiently, try her hardest to complete any task she's asked to ("A diaper, Sissy! Grab a diaper, please!"), and listen when you talk - her big blue eyes wide and curious, trying to understand and console. She'll eat whatever you put in front of her, and drink from a straw like it's what she was born to do, though I think we all know that she was actually born to bring out the softness in everyone around her - you can't not melt when you see her smile.
I've always wanted a big family (collective gasp from my environmentalist friends) and still do. I yearn for more babies to squeeze, more toddlers to teach, more "big boys" to depend on and love. I believe I'll have more, I hope I'll have more.. "but if not", if these are my two babies and that's the end of the Redfern line, oh my heck, I am so lucky! I have two beautiful, wonderful, darling children who are truly far more than I've ever deserved.
Gage and KJ,
Thank you for being mine and Daddy's. We love you both, so so much. More than I can ever try to describe. Thank you for making our lives wonderful!