I’m sitting here watching Zach. He’s asking how to spell my name so he can practice writing, making it known he’s hungry (again, already), then running to the door to grab an amazon box, and subsequently his scissors so he can open it for me while telling me he missed me when he was at school. It’s amazing how fast they grow up and become real people – from tiny little bald aliens that can barely see and don’t know how to use their hands to these kids that can talk, and empathize, and run and jump. Zach is already so smart, I can’t even imagine the type of pride you have as a parent when they write a profound paper or make the varsity soccer team, considering I’m currently impressed with forming complete sentences and walking without falling (ok, so we’re still working on the clumsiness, but you know what I mean). Independence is gaining speed – and it seems like it’s coming faster for the younger ones than it even did with Zach, but he’s ready now. He’s been the observer – always paying attention and asking questions. Before he started talking, he would only say the typical first words (mama, dada, ball, etc) but he knew how to say “this?” -and he said it ALL THE TIME. He wanted to know what everything was, what it was called, what it did, how it worked. And we told him, and he listened and learned and I swear he knew a million words before he actually started to say them himself. Now we’re in the next phase – he’s ready to form his own opinions, make them well known, and start to navigate his emotions and feelings. I’m so impressed, but this can also be SO frustrating. Since he’s so smart and can communicate so well, it’s hard to remember he’s still so little and doesn’t know how to deal with these complicated emotions that I’ve had 32 years to figure out (and still haven’t). The common thread here is patience – it takes so much patience to raise kids, and constant reminding ourselves that they’re learning. They’re learning constantly, they’re watching us and learning (God help me, and them), they’re soaking everything up and spitting it back out in their own weird, silly ways – and I guess, in a way we are too. It’s amazing to witness, and I can’t believe we made these tiny humans. I’ve always been so intrigued by the human body and how it functions, so complicated and intricate, but I have an entirely new appreciation for it now. What a privilege to be able to get a front row seat to this.