Today, Alexander turned 18 months. Happy 18 months to Xander --and us (mami and daddy)!!
If I had to choose one word to sum up the last 18 months, it would be growth. Our family literally grew from being just Allan and me, to being our little family of three. The first year of Xander’s life was a really steep learning curve for all of us (especially me). Adjusting to life with a baby takes a lot of work, patience, learning, adjusting, trial + error (lots of trial and error), re-learning and re-adjusting. Some days (and weeks) were harder than others, but I would not change a thing. In the last 18 months, I have learned so much about myself, my child, from my child, and from our family + couple dynamics. The learning curve was steep and so was the growth experienced.
One of my absolute favorite things of being a mother has been to view the world through my child’s eyes. Viewing the world through Xander’s eyes has been amazing + refreshing and I want to capture these moments, feelings and lessons learned because I really do not want to forget.
Here are some life lessons Xander has taught me… (or reminded me)
Be Fearless // fearLESS
Xander has been a very busy and fearless guy from a very young age. Crawling, cruising, taking the first steps, learning how to walk (and wanting to go down stairs like a big boy at 11 months) takes a lot of courage. Letting go and falling (many, many times), getting up and trying, again and again, is a lesson I never want us (Xander and I) to forget.
When Xander was 9 months old, we visited the Philippines (it was a trip of a lifetime) and Xander’s first time experiencing the ocean. Xander seemed to be amazed by the body of water in front of him and by the sounds coming from it. I took him to the shore to get his little feet wet, then went back out and sat down on the sand. He loved playing with the sand. He grabbed the sand, looked at it, felt it, and watched it slip out of his hands (he did it again)… and this play went on for a while. After he was done playing with the sand, he stopped for a while to just stare at the ocean and take it all in. Shortly after, he began to crawl towards the water. I watched him crawl towards the ocean until the small waves wet his little hands, knees and toes. Then, I helped him get up and together we walked a little further into the water.
As his mom, watching the joy on his face was priceless. The beauty of small children is that they don’t have a concept of fear, they are constantly learning from the world around them, and they are not afraid of falling, getting up and trying again. I don’t know at what age children learn fear, but I do know, I want to foster an environment where Xander (and my future children) are not afraid to try due to fear of “failure”. If we didn’t try (many, many times), we wouldn’t be able to master a skill we learn from a very young age… such as walking. So we must walk through life with the conviction that skill and mastery takes many, many trials.
Xander is the most adventurous little guy I know. He constantly reminds me that life is an adventure. Go adventure. Go explore. Go discover.
He loves to explore everything around him. The curiosity and imagination of children is truly powerful beyond measure.
I have never met a tiny, little fella who is as assertive as Xander. He constantly reminds me to be self-assured and not seek external approval.
Xander doesn't give up easily. He is very persistent, which makes for very interesting moments (learning patience is a virtue we have yet to master! It's a work in progress). Nonetheless, persistence is a very important skill he knows all too well.
Xander is such a happy child. His smile brightens-up my world and his laughter is contagious. Children are so joyful/blissful/happy just because.
Xander is really sweet too.... He loves mami + daddy, puppies, children and people in general... And he gives us (Allan + I) the most awesome hugs (pretty much the best part of my day).
As parents, it is important that we help our children preserve “The-Child-With-In”.
Growth has truly marked the last 18 months of our lives and I’m so ready to continue embracing this path. From my experience, parenthood is slightly easier if we take some of the pressure off and recognize that we are all learning as we go and that all the answers we seek will appear when the moment is right.