In Matthew's mailbox at school yesterday we received his first SCHOOL pictures. They are adorable and funny and sweet. Those first photos from school... I showed them to everyone who would look at work yesterday mostly because I am in awe.
I am in awe of him and the changes that have taken place especially in the last few months. It is like attending school changed him. It zapped the last vestiges of chubby toddler and little boy from his body. And it has turned him into a real live big boy.
Matthew has muscles and abs and he is thin as a rail, taller then I thought he would be at this age but still built like a brick house. He thinks differently and is calmer when he is frustrated, except when he is sick (but aren't we all a bit crabby when we are sick?!)
He colors in the lines and makes these amazing drawings. And writes whole sentences with letters that are wobbly but understandable. He wants to understand words more and more. He loves to be read to and will sit for hours listening intently to chapter book after chapter book. He has been into numbers and math and figuring out how to add and subtract! "12-4 equals 8, right Daddy?" (Stunned silence from Daddy...) He signs in when he gets to school after waiting by his classroom quietly for the bell to ring and he proudly shows off intricate art projects to us in his classroom. He makes plans with his buddies and say "bye guys" when we pick him up, waving and smiling and he is full of stories about his adventures on the playground!
He no longer squashes the bugs outside but hold them and inspects them. He listens to us and learns. He blew on the wings of the ladybug hanging on to the tip of his finger. And giggled as it sailed off into the air. He gently placed the large brown and black caterpillar in the grass near some flowers so "he would have something to eat and a place to sleep."
He spouts off crazy things that we have no idea he knew. He will sit and build with tiny little Lego's for hours on end. He constantly asks questions and knows more then we do already. His keen eyes see everything. "Hey Mommy look that house is about finished being built!"
He is still scared of the dark but with a deepening understanding that some things are real and somethings are not. He likes to play ball and catches and throws with much more accuracy. He giggles uncontrollably when he tells a joke and knows it is a good one. And truly the boy will do anything for a laugh. He has definite opinions about what he likes and does not like, not that he did not before but now much more so.
He is so gentle and sweet and kind to his little sister. He shares with her most of the time willingly including his puppy dog and blanket. He plays with her and shows her how to do things and this relationship that continues to grow between them is so lovely, and that is in large part due to Matthew's ability to love and be kind.
I replaced the baby photo that has adorned our family room for almost three years with that school photo. It was hard to do - I had to swallow back fat silly tears about replacing that picture with this big boy who hardly seems recognizable from the other boy in that baby picture.
I could not take my eyes off that photo all evening. And it was the first thing I looked at this morning. My, how he has changed. This may sound funny but I finally get the old classic from Disney, Pinocchio - how the wooden toy turns into a real boy. How this tiny baby turned into a little boy - from seemingly nothing into something filled with all of the wonderful things I could only dream of when he was first born. For this, I am glad, and proud, but also slightly sad and nostalgic as well.
* Get it? From the Pinocchio reference? Yeah, hmm that is what I thought... oh well.