As a mother, it's normal to worry about my child (please tell me it's normal or else I am in big trouble!). I worry a lot. I worry about everything and Little Smith is no exception. If I had been blogging in his first year I could seriously have done a daily update with a fresh new freak out. You wouldn't necessarily know it if you met me, I don't seem nutty like that, but just check my google history. No wait, please do not check my google history.
I do know that whatever my latest nail biter might be, it's almost certainly all in my head and in a few months I will laugh and dismiss it. I wouldn't want a bigger Little Smith to look back and wonder if he was too slow at some milestone just because his mother is a wee bit neurotic, so for the most part I try not to enumerate my concerns here.
Happily, this year has also been far more mellow. I guess that a little experience has given me the confidence that everything will work out. After all he did crawl, did get hair and teeth (although he still doesn't have many... I'm trying not to worry). Each child is so different and it really is not fair to compare them, but it's also really hard.
At nearly two, Little Smith still is not really talking. He babbles and he does communicate, but it's his own language with very few clear words and he doesn't 'repeat after me' the way many other kids his age seem to. Most of his friends are speaking in sentences, 'these my punkin socks', 'I go outside now', 'mama hit curb with car'... yes those are real quotes from a couple of 23 month old's.
My guy just is not there yet, and sometimes I worry that it's something I am doing. Maybe I don't engage him enough or talk enough, maybe he doesn't get enough time with other children or should be watching some TV. I understand so much of what he wants without words and I get his gibberish (wyanese as we call it) so I might not be giving him the opportunity to use language.
Lately he's been obsessing over leaves. We have been collecting leaves on our daily walks and he loves to carry them proudly, then throw them in the air and shrug his shoulders looking all around and asking, 'air eef go'? No one has a clue what he's saying but I clearly hear, 'where did the leaves go?', and and play along. It's possible that if he was with a nanny or at a daycare where no one answered a babbled question he would get frustrated and try harder, but how can I pretend not to understand the cutest grunts and babbles in the whole world? I can't.
I know that in time he will be talking, it will probably be a sudden explosion of language and I will lament another step away from babyhood and say he is growing up too fast. I love that we are so connected that we can communicate to one another with very few words. He's perfect and he's just as he should be, but it is tough, when you are the primary person responsible for a kid's development, to know that you are doing it right. Am I as informed as I should be, am I making the best choices?
I do get wrapped up in this second guessing, but thankfully an afternoon with Little Smith always reminds me to lighten up and just let life happen. Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders, throw a few leaves, and enjoy the silence while it lasts.
*these pictures were taken at a cemetery near our house with some gorgeous maple trees that we enjoy. we are always very respectful when we visit.