He is in love with being outside. From the moment he wakes up he asks if we can go out. To ride his motorcycle, to color with chalk, to SWING! His knees are scabbed and his clothes are grass stained and he loves every second of it.
His pants pockets are filled with treasures. I have to check them all before I do any laundry. pennies, quarters, any little rock that he thinks is worth further investigation. Sometimes he jumps and hears the items click together and smiles. He tells me 'Henry's pockets full!".
He is fascinated with living things. He watches caterpillars as they crawl across the patio. He sets his hand down and says "come on little caterpillar!" and lets it climb across his fingers. Then he laughs with pure joy at the sight. He watches a turtle documentary on Netflix, asking Nick to play it for him, then cheering when it begins. As he watches the baby turtle make it's way to the water he loudly proclaims, "I LOVE TURTLES!!"
He is so big, I sometimes look at him and wonder if my baby is gone.
But then nights like the other night happen. Where I tell him it's bedtime and he looks at me and says "Sit with mama, PLEASE!". I hold out my hands and pull him into the seat where I nursed him every single night for fourteen months. He curls into my arms, much bigger than he seems like he was just days before. His legs are long and he smells of summer and childhood. His breath is on my neck and his hand is wrapped in my hair. I am about to tell him it's time for books and bed when I notice his breathing has slowed and his hands are limp. He is asleep. I hold him longer than I should, or maybe not nearly long enough. Who knows how many more times he will fall asleep in his mama's arms this way. Surely it will happen again, but not nearly enough.
I slowly pick him up and carefully carry him to his room. I lay him down in his toddler bed, kiss his head and tell him how much I love him. Just like I did every night when he was tiny. Just like I do every night still. My big boy. My baby. Either way, he is mine, and I love him so.