I am so thankful to have the sweetest one year old in the world! He has his normal, toddler tendencies, of course, and he can really sap my energy as any 17 month old would. There are moments with Talmage, however, that truly make me feel unworthy to be his mother.
Last week, I was carrying him past a large picture of Greg Olsen's "In His Light" that we have hanging in our Dining Room when he motioned toward the picture and made his usual sound when he wants something--"Huu--uhh." I moved forward toward the picture and he smiled at it, like he really recognized who it was for the first time. I said "that's Jesus" and he replied, "Jezuh" as best he could. I repeated it, just to make sure he was really trying to say his name, and sure enough, he said it again. He then started to wave to the picture with one hand, then with both hands (which he's never done before). That was followed by blowing kisses at the picture as we moved away from it.
The other night Cody called me in to see Talmage pretend to be a fish, smacking his lips together to make a little popping sound. He was on Cody's lap and they were reading a book, which had a fish on one of the pages. Wanting to show Cody some more tricks that he could do, I went to turn the page of the book when Tal gently pushed the it away and reached his arms up for me to hold him. It was as if he was politely saying, "that's enough of that for now, I really just want to love you, mom." I pulled him up to me and he squeezed his little arms around me. I started to cry...I think it was partially out of gratitude and partially because I don't want to let go of the tender moments I have with this little guy. He is so loving and snuggly for a baby his age. Not to mention good-natured and sweet. I don't want him to grow out of any of those precious qualities.
Perhaps there are some families that have more than one child this lovable. Some parents might not think Talmage is that out of the ordinary. They are probably right. In my circumstances, however, he is just what I need to counteract the hard times I experience with some of my other children. When Cody and I struggle with the behavior of our twin boys, I find that Talmage is a great source of comfort and peace.
Though he is starting to become a little bit of a nuisance to his older siblings, it is neat to see how Talmage seems to have wormed his way into their hearts. Before we said our family prayer tonight, I asked each of the kids to talk about their worries, so that we could pray over them. Hunter said he was worried about Talmage choking on something. Grant said he was worried about Talmage getting hurt. Talmage is also showing more affection towards them. He gives them hugs and makes a sound like "Awwww" as he's hugging them. He starting to say their names, as well..."Nana" is "Savannah." He's still working on Hunter and Grant.
The only thing I would modify about Talmage's behavior is his clinginess towards me and Cody. I would love for others to share in the joy of his love. He seems to only have eyes for Mom or Dad, even if the older siblings are around, though he still waves and sometimes even blows kisses to the nice strangers he sees at the store!