At 18 months old, everything about him is icing. His Little Man walk, his hilariously growing vocabulary (“goggles!”), his obsession with cats, lift-the-flap books, and any ball that can be hurled, kicked or slammed into a net.

Even his tantrums are freaking adorable. When he sprints away from me in a crowded park, racing toward the nearest body of water, I smile at his exaggerated motions and bow-legged steps.

When I say it’s time to go and he arches his back and slaps me on the chin, I can’t help but hug his squeezey little self. “No hitting, baby, but ohhh how I want to zerbert your belly right now.”

He is all about Mama. He takes 3-hour naps. He eats almost everything served to him without a single “eewww.”

When I pull out the camera, he is an easy photo-op waiting to happen. He does not intentionally pout, give his sister bunny ears or twist his hips in an uncomfortably provocative way. He usually looks straight at me as if to say:
“I know.”

This moment, this brief space between babyhood and toddler-hell, is so fleeting. I remember this deliciousness with his older siblings, and those memories still carry me through many a current challenge.

I remember well. So I’m relishing now. And trusting that his shine is just a glimmer of the little boy soon to come.

As Hubby likes to say: “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”

As I like to point out: The golden halo of light in that photo…it’s no coincidence.


  1. Beautiful. And thank you for that reminder today of all days. When I wanted to pull my hair out way more than usual. When C hurled a matchbox car right at A’s face resulting in a bump and 20 minutes of inconsolable infant shrieking. And when our yard got invaded by thousands of flying ants, making backyard play intolerable which meant we spent hours in a fence-less frontyard playing ball with me trying to make sure A stayed happy on a playmat while C stayed out of the road. In better news: we had really good pizza for dinner. A long-winded way of saying thanks for a lovely post. Just what I needed :)

    • Oh wow. I don’t know what sounds worse–the flying matchbox cars or the flying ants. (At least you can put the cars in time-out?!) Ugh! So glad you recovered with a great pizza. I hope today is a better day!

  2. What a sweet, sweet post. Some day, when Smiley has kids of his own, he’ll love that you wrote this for him.

  3. “Angelic” picture, beautiful post! And, I love the way my nephew quoted “The Outsiders” (love that book). Nice finish, too!!

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