Sweet Matthew, my three-year-old Little Man
Breaking a very long blog silence for a special birthday post in honor of my littlest guy, my loving and gentle Matthew. I promise to write more soon and relate the rather involved, intricate saga of what has been going on with my family over the past few months, but until then I must ask you to be content to sit back and allow me to wax eloquent on one of my favorite subjects…
Since the moment he came into our lives three years ago, Matthew has been a favorite. With all of us. He is still the same sweet, affectionate and (most of the time) obedient child that I wrote about on his birthday last year, but since then he has also become very talkative and charming. He loves to joke and laugh and cuddle and read stories together. He is so bright and intelligent. His “man” walk and facial expressions are so humorous, he keeps us all laughing. He is a favored companion of all of the other children, and it’s fascinating to me to see the different relationships he has developed with each of his siblings…each bond unique in its nature and expression, each testifying to a deep and intensifying affection for each other.
Elisabeth is Matthew’s second mother. He runs to her when he’s hurting, looks to her for help with shoe straps and zippers, and if he’s awakened in the wee small hours, it’s her bed he stumbles to and her pillow that he rests his sleepy head on as she comforts him and tucks a warm blanket around him.
David is his comrade in arms, so to speak…fellow knight, brother soldier in the trenches, wrestling adversary and…well…punching bag. Both boys seem content and delighted with this arrangement, though I admit to shaking my head in wonder as I pass by the living room and see a tangle of arms and legs askew and hear grunts and groans. “It’s okay, Mom, we’re having fun!”…boys…I cringe and my husband grins as “fond memories” flash through his mind. I wonder if the same memories are equally pleasant for his “little brother”? Somehow I doubt that.
Faith is Matthew’s playmate and fellow traveler into distant lands of imagination. Dressing up, pretending, making up stories, and just gadding about the house together on one sort of “adventure” or another. Faith usually leads the way, dictating what meal is being served or what country they are in or what social event they are attiring themselves for in such a ridiculous fashion. When Matthew disagrees with her, he simply rides off on his imaginary horse, Monty Python style.
Yet Matthew is also a bit of a loner. I look on with amazement when I take them all to the playground and I see the three older kids running about in a pack while my youngest is content to wander off on his own, exploring corners away from the crowd. He’s not shy. He’s not fearful. He just seems to be happy to run about here and there without having to be the “caboose” at the end of the train. But he always knows where I am. Lately, in this exhausting third trimester, I have remained ensconced in the van with the window down, watching carefully yet comfortably from my seat, and at least a few times if not several, I will see my Little Man running pel-mel toward the van, flashing a grin. “Hi, Mommy!” he says, and then he’s off again. Just checking to make sure I’m still there, I guess.
I’ll always be there for you, Sweetest, for as long as God gives me breath.