How do I choose the moment? It was a week of moments.

There was this one:

Alex--PLEASE pay attention to the baby you're holding and not your sister, who is perfectly capable of going down a slide by herself!!!

…and this…

Sunday night dinner. 😉

…and this…

How many little boys can you fit in a car seat box? And how much fun will they have therein?

…and there were the birthday moments…

This was half a second BEFORE Nicholas tried to grab the flame.

…and this one…

Wait a minute! This is MY birthday cake! What are you THINKING, Grandpa?

Nicholas has been up at night A LOT lately. There have been times when I really thought I was going to lose it. Thank God for a great husband who actually woke up twice in one night and took kid duty while I was conked out (with earplugs) (drugged on Benadryl) with a cold! I swear, if the kid doesn’t poke through half a dozen teeth in the next few days, me and God, man, we’re gonna have some words.

But then there was this moment:

See how proud he is of himself?

The moment in which my baby began signing “all done.” On the first attempt to teach it to him. And retained it, too—he signed it spontaneously last night, and I nearly fell over.

Every time I think I’ve readjusted to the typical experience of a child developing, Nicholas wows me again. Probably because Julianna continues to require such concentrated, continuing attention to learn anything. I confess that over the last week, I have been doing some low-grade fretting about Nicholas’s propensity to bend books backward and do a whole-hand grab instead of turning pages. But he’s an independent little guy, and takes great exception to hand-over-hand—the staple of teaching Julianna. And then yesterday, we sat down to read a book and he turned the pages, one-fingered, exercising his newfound ability to point. With his right hand, at least; his left hand is still a little uncoordinated.

And as Nicholas sits contentedly in my arms and stares out at the greening world, his face quizzical as he watches a flock of starlings buzz across the sky, I remember what I always said about Alex. The typically-developing child is tuned in to some celestial aerial in the sky. They’re hearing signals that we big important grownups have long since tuned out. They absorb learning from the air around them.

And that’s a great moment to be a mom.