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Happy Birthday, Cole!

Come Sunday, I will have a 2 year old.

If you told me 2 years ago about my life now I wouldn't have believed you. My oldest is pushing his wagon down the hall and throwing toy cars across the living room while my daughter is in the dining room chewing on plastic and banging on wooden toys.

It's a nice life. I'm doing marathons--coming up on number 5 in October. And thinking of switching to triathlons next season. We spend lots of family time together going to the farmers market, the zoo, my son has recently taken to making it all the way through picture books so it's fun to read to him.

And Kelly makes it all possible. She doesn't get nearly enough credit and, I think, sometimes feels most of the stress in making our family run. Yes, I'm the one "stuck" home all day with two children under 3. But if you can get past the screaming, crying, poop, and length of time it takes to pack and leave the house, the kids are the easy part. I wake up every morning knowing most of my day will be spent watching my kids grow and explore. I'm the lucky one. Figuring out how to entertain a toddler is small potatoes next to commuting, the office, and having deadlines.

Oh, and she also gave birth. That's kind of a big deal, too.

It seems like so much has happened since that day nearly 2 years ago when I casually brought her a Starbucks tea in her hospital room. You see, I'd gone home overnight to let the dog out and stay with her since we were fairly sure about the timing of Cole's delivery. Weird feeling to walk into the coffee shop with that same feeling at the starting line of a big race. Hydration is important for the task ahead! Of course, my daughter's arrival into the world was much, much different. Far less relaxed. And there was no take-your-time moment.

President Obama was on The View. That's the kind of stuff you remember. It was a long wait until 10pm. Well, more like 9pm when things started to happen. Forget medically. I mean, the staff popping in every few minutes or half-hours become a storm of activity. Trays. Unwrapping tools and instruments. It's like being the center of attention at the hospital for awhile. Again, compared to my daughter who had 12 people in the room from the medical staff, my son it was just the doctor and a nurse in the end. More difficult than Leda's birth, but much more calm. No hurrying away with life-saving measures. Once he was here...he was here.

How do they get from those little crying blobs of newborn to someone you're having an extended conversation with about how the Elmo dvd is "all done" and he'd rather watch Thomas now? They go from being helpless to wanting to do everything themselves.

For now, I take a little comfort in him still needing his bedtime bottle and snuggle with dad and blankie. Because next year, I have a feeling he's going to start asking for his first bike or judo lessons or who knows.

Ok, maybe not yet. But it does seem like yesterday I was helping someone in the nursery give him his first bath.