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I wanted to have this post done for Mother’s Day; alas, schoolwork took the top priority spot.  Finally (as of Friday), the term is over.  This evening, I am making a variety of “trial runs” for Drake’s birthday cake; I believe the intoxicating scent of chocolate has overwhelmed me with the warm-fuzzys.  Thus, it is time to put these thoughts to press.

Nearly two years ago, Dustin and I brought home this squinty-eyed, wrinkly, red, 7 1/2lb stranger. Trepidation now accompanied every move we made.  As a first time mother, I often thought, well what the heck am I supposed to do with this little thing?  For the first few months it was remarkably uncomfortable; synonymous to the “showing up to school naked” dream.  All my insecurities about being a mother exposed, glaringly obvious as I held Drake like a Faberge egg.  What was worse, I didn’t feel I could crack Drake’s code.  Newborns don’t really have a personality.  For those first few months, he would smile, but still looked at me like an alien; perhaps just mimicking my expression.  A friend described him as on old soul.  Well, I didn’t know about that, but I did know he looked like a little old man.

Months passed, and I no longer feared leaving the house.  It became second nature.  Drake became Drake around 8 or 9 months.  It wasn’t until then that it was fun to be a mom.  Drake became a cool little boy, and I became a bonafide mom, complete with confidence and a bag of tricks.

Fast forward another year, and not only am I a total “mom”, I also have a new best friend, a partner really.  Drake and I spend all day, everyday together.  Every errand, every load of dishes, every meal prepared in the kitchen, every pee (his and mine both), every shirt put on the hanger, and every pair of underwear placed in the drawer, the little dude places himself at my side.  His language skills are quite advanced for his age; perhaps, this is what makes him such an excellent companion.  He provides me with a million laughs a day.  It’s like I am hanging with an old, and new friend all at once.

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Since the weather has warmed, we have spent at least a few days a week experiencing the natural world together.  Some days we hike at his pace, other days we have an end goal in mind; however, each time, I learn more about beloved places through the eyes of a two-year old.  He smells every flower.  He splashes in puddles. He compares non-serotinous and serotinous pine cones. He identifies flowers. He listens to the birds. He screeches back to the chickaree.  He sees wildlife even before I do.  He’s became my best hiking partner; he shows me new things, and makes me appreciate things I would otherwise blaze right past.

I hiked close to 6 miles one day in flip flops because I forgot my boots; I didn’t have the heart to tell Drake we wouldn’t make it to the lake because mommy forgot her shoes. Drake, you are the only person for which I would do this.  You sure are one awesome kid. I’m so lucky to be your mom.

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Our time in our natural world is my favorite time; I hope one day he says the same thing.

Happy second birthday, Monner!

-Stephanie

Written by Stephanie Mullins

1 Comment

Lee and Sandie

Best blog ever! I knew you would have this experience with Drake…and it only gets better each year. Rough spots? Sure! But the precious spots far out weigh all others and they will continue! All the best to you all!

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