My precious little boy is turning three in a few weeks! It’s hard to believe!
Having a two-year-old has been quite an adventure. There have been moments of joyful surprise, wonder and amazement at his incredible insights, creativity and perspective of the world. There are many times when I want to hug and kiss him so hard it hurts and instances when my heart melts at an expression, gesture or conversation.
There are however, many moments when I am also overwhelmed, frustrated, discouraged and even angry with some of the things he does or says. I find myself confused at the rollercoaster of emotions he experiences and elicits in me and have spent some nights trying to recover from the whirlwind. And yet, even when he yells mean things or pushes his sister or is blatantly disobedient, I have vowed to NEVER use the phrase “terrible two’s”. And here’s why…
Each year my husband and I individually pick something to focus on in our relationship with the Lord and with others. This year, I chose “words”. I want to be thoughtful with my words. I want the things I say to build others up and breathe life into their day. Now, I certainly didn’t master this project this year, but having an intentional effort to think about the things I say was eye-opening. Our words are so important. And our children hear so much, often more than we realize. The things we say about them have the potential to re-assure and support or to tear down and humiliate. Even at the tender age of two I know that my son understands my tone, my actions and the words I use to describe him to others. Even if I was to call this stage ‘terrible’ without him around, I know that the attitude of feeling that way would affect my responses to him generally.
So, all that to say, I’m making a bold stand for this crazy, figuring-out-life-and-new-emotions stage and claiming it as the “terrific twos”! That way, my son knows that I am with him on this journey of ups and downs and am (dare I say) excited to steer through grumpy days, as they are opportunities to understand his emerging personality better and to show him love and hopefully patience and perseverance. Because, I would want someone to do that for me on my grumpy days too.
PS. One of my theme songs for the year was “Words” by Hawk Nelson. Check it out: