So I came to a realization tonight, my baby is no longer a baby. It actually started this morning. We pulled up in front of the house where he goes for day care and he did his usual whimpering in acknowledgement of where we were and that I was going to leave him. I said, "stop that, you know you have fun when you are here." He promptly stopped. We walked to the front door where Ms. Lisa was waiting and walked inside. He didn't cry, he didn't cling to me. Instead, he smiled at her, pushed away from me to be put down and commenced playing with a toy that he proudly showed me. So there it is, the first time that he didn't cry when I left him. I was given a kiss and a quick wave goodbye in between playing with the giraffe he'd found.
In just the past two weeks or so, Peyton's personality has blossomed into a little boy. He "talks" all the time, in complete Peyton sentences. He says tons of stuff appropriately. When we left daycare I asked him if he had fun and he said "yep!" I asked him if he played a lot and he said, "yep!" I said "what else did you do today?" and he proceeded to monologue about his day, even though I didn't understand a word of it. When he's proud of himself he loudly declares, "I did it!" He squeals, runs around like a maniac, and climbs on everything. I swear he is going to be a rock climber and a baseball and football player. His skills are unbelievable. He tries to jump, loves to spin in circles and make himself dizzy, and now safely goes up and down the stairs without being told how. He loves to play in the hose when I'm watering my garden. He's a social butterfly, pleading with his eyes to other kids to play with him at the playground and has made his babysitters' 5 kids all ask "when is Peyton going to be here next," especially her 4 year old twins who greet him at the door and can't sleep in on Wednesday mornings because they are so excited he's coming. He says hi to everyone we pass in the grocery store.
On top of everything he's become such a lover. He gets so excited to see me or Daddy when we get home from work, climbs in our laps, gives great kisses and hugs, blows kisses, and loves just sitting with us, talking up a storm. It's the most amazing feeling to see him blossom into this wonderful little boy and know that we've done things right. For 15 months we have done more than keep him alive (the goal of every new, scared parent), we have facilitated his development, physical, social, and emotional, and now he is an extremely happy, well adjusted child who makes everybody who meets him smile. He leaves an impression.
So tonight, when I said to Zack, "Have you noticed in just the last 2 weeks or so how much Peyton has changed from a baby into a little boy?" we both started crying, not because we are sad really, but it is sad to see babyhood end, and scary to see childhood begin. We know there are power struggles to come and every day will be a new adventure, but we are proud. Proud parents of an amazing child who leaves us in awe every day that he came from us. Every sacrifice we've made in the last 15 months is so worth it. I know we both feel our lives were not complete until Peyton came into it. A child is a blessing you can't understand until you have one, then your whole life changes and that's OK because you now feel that it is the way it always should have been. We love you, Peyton.