I'm constantly amazed at how fast he is learning things and making connections now. But what impresses me even more is the personality he is developing. He is an interesting mix of both Stephen and I. Fun and silly like his daddy. Shy and cautious like his mommy. And already, he seems older than his age.
We were at a birthday party on Saturday and there must have been about a half dozen kids there ranging in age from 1 to 4 and it took Julian a long time to warm up. We led him to his buddy's room where all the kids were playing and generally wreaking havoc ;0) He just stood there. Silent. In a corner of the room and was content to just watch all the other kids have fun.
I recognised myself immediately in him at that very moment. It was like watching myself at every age. I am a really weird combination of shy and out-going at the same time and it manifests itself as such: I go to parties or get-togethers (even though at the last minute I always dread going and try to think of excuses to get out of it but I usually can't think of any valid reasons and end up going anyway) and just don't know how to socialise. I'll stick to the 2 or 3 people I know all night and mostly listen until there is an uncomfortable lull in the conversation at which point I ask stupid questions about weather and the like to get the ball rolling. I don't really actively participate in any conversations. I am usually too busy hoping no one noticed that I haven't been mingling or talking much or generally that I am a total social idiot and hoping against all hope that no one "calls" on me.
(Now all of this is totally internal because everytime I mention that I am shy or that I feel awkward in social situations, no one beleives me. Apparently I am so good at faking it that people generally think I'm okay to be around.)
But watching Julian stand there not feeling like he could jump in and play with the others broke my heart. He's only 1 and a half! I don't want him to be like me. I want him to feel confident and entitled to play and have fun and participate. I just don't know how to do that. Eventually, all the kids left the room to get pizza and cake and it was only then that Julian started to explore all the cool toys in the room now that he was by himself. He was really quiet and just carefully looked at each toy. The whole time we were there, he didn't even say a single word...which is astounding really because he is usually a real chatterbox.
Luckily, he inherited some of his dad's ability to have fun and laugh and be silly. Otherwise I'd be totally heart-broken. I know how hard it is to grow up shy. And to try to hide it as an adult by way over compensating. It can be so demanding and stressful. I just don't want that for him.
Another example of his maturity: On Monday, he was playing alone in the living room at Grandma's and I guess he went to pet the cat and she freaked and swatted him. At least that's what we think happened because no one saw. He walked into the kitchen later and grandma noticed that his eyes were a little red. She asked him if he was okay and if he got hurt and that's when he started to whimper. The cat had scratched his hand and broken the skin. I don't know why, but it really gets to me that he didn't cry or scream or hit the cat back in the heat of the moment. It gets to me that he tried to console himself and not make it a big deal. It just makes me want to scoop him up, hold him tight, kiss him all over, remind him how wonderful and special he is and never letting him go.
It amazes me how having children totally points out all your flaws to yourself and makes you want to immediately fix them so you could become a better role model for your child. It's little things like that that make me at once sad and optimistic about our future. I think he's going to teach me a lot about myself as he grows and be the motivation I need to be the change I want to see. Who needs Dr. Phil or self help books! I say get a kid if you're interested in self-improvement ;0)
In knitting news, I'm already two days behind on ornament making! And I was doing so well too... My excuse though is that I've been furiously knitting this:
It's the Menorah pillow from Handknit Holidays. I am knitting it for a friend of the family. It is up on Julian's bed blocking away. I'll have to figure out the i-cord edging tomorrow and then find a pillow form for it. I'll tell you more about it next time.