I had a moment of realization yesterday.
Harry squeals a lot, mostly when he’s excited about something, but also when he doesn’t like something. What’s on TV, Holly playing with his toys, what’s for dinner. Whatever he’s trying to say comes out in a squeal that sounds like a pterodactyl. I started responding with “Harry, I can’t understand you when you squeal”. I would wait for him to speak in a calmer tone and then I’d respond calmly back to what he was wanting.
Then yesterday we were in the car, and he spotted a crane outside of the window. He squealed so loudly, “LOOK MUMMY A CRANE”, I didn’t even think and I responded “don’t squeal Harry”. He then said back calmly, “Look Mummy.. .a crane”, no excitement and in a tone that didn’t belong to a 2 1/2 year old. I felt completely crushed and instantly filled with regret. My eyes even started to well up as I looked at him in the rear-view mirror looking out to the construction, deflated.
It gave me one of those heart twinges, all of a sudden I realised how beautiful that excited squeal was, I was trying to grab it back in my mind as if it were too late after having sent it away. I hated myself in that moment, for being responsible for him growing faster than he should.
Those rush of emotions are all part of growing, all valid, all perfect.
The drive home was a sad one, for me, for him and maybe for the silly crane that stood there in its spot waiting for little fingers to point at it.
This morning he spotted something out the window in the car and his voice went up a few octaves he went to correct it and I joined in with his excitement instead. I’ve never been happier to hear his little squeal return, this time about a yellow digger... “and all those rocks Mummy, LOOK MUMMY, LOOK!”.