"Portrait of the Spencer as a Young Man"

Spencer is almost 1. Part of me CANNOT believe he is that old, and part of me feels like he has always been in our lives. I still get overwhelmed with gratitude for God's gift in him. On the less mushy side, he is HILARIOUS and never boring. And I really appreciate that. I bore easily, so thank goodness he's a mover and a shaker. I may sound like I'm complaining about his activity level and quirkiness sometimes, but just know that I'd be bored out of my mind if he was what is traditionally referred to as an "easy" baby.

For example, when we scheduled a photo shoot for this fall, I thought, "Why not get a 'family picture'?" After all, what kind of mother would I be to not have pictures of myself with my husband and my child all fully clothed and smiling. It's almost like you attempt to do it, just to prove to yourself that while it doesn't happen very often, it's not because you CAN'T do it--you just don't bother yourself with silly things like putting on eye liner or pulling together multiple pieces of clothing that fit you properly to make an "outfit."

The last time I attempted this, Spencer was 6 weeks old, and it was a challenge then. But that photo shoot had nothing on this one.

That about sums it up.

Now, you have to know that we have some beautiful pictures from this shoot. Really. He loves our photographer (and friend) Hannah. He flashes his flirty little grin at her big beautiful brown eyes. He ain't no fool. He just wasn't up for being in a sitting position because that necessitates that his body remain stationary for more that 1/10 of a second. That's just not his thing. "What IS his thing?" you ask. Well, he prefers to stand in any shopping cart with or without a buckle, to carry 3 heavy things while walking, and to refuse milk for an hour and then eat an entire grilled cheese sandwich.

Almost a year ago, I was in the hospital having Spencer. My OB commented that Spencer was going to have his own perspective on life. He said this because Spencer WOULD NOT turn over the way babies typically do in order to put an end to the "delivery" process. They are supposed to rotate to a face down position. Spencer refused for a good 2 hours, at which point we reached a compromise of a "sideways" delivery. I didn't think much of it at the time. There was much more to think about, like trying to have a baby in between yanking my oxygen mask off to throw up...but I digress.

"He told you I have a mind of my own, Mom! How long until you cease to be surprised?"

I read that Spencer should be pointing to things now, and I was trying to remember if he's ever technically pointed at anything. Then it dawned on me, he takes my hand and walks me to whatever he wants. Why would he point? When I keep my hands out of his reach because I don't want to face the temper tantrum that will ensue when I don't stand up and walk when he pulls my hand, he grabs my big toe and starts pulling it as he walks. And it's not just me. He will take anyone's hand who will give it to him. He will then walk them to what he is currently interested in and try to convince them to do his bidding.

Did I mention he's a little bit of a thrill seeker? He loves the grass in the backyard, because he figured out 1--that it slopes in certain places and you can get running PRETTY fast and 2--that when you get running pretty fast and then squeal with excitement you inevitably fall, but that's ok, because it doesn't hurt to fall in the grass.

I am usually the one taking pictures of Spencer, so there are not a lot of the both of us. And typically that's a good thing because, as I mentioned above, I don't consistently present as "photo ready," at least by 21st Century American standards. So, I really like this picture that Hannah took, because more than most it typifies what life with Spencer is like right now. Boisterous, strength-requiring, joyful, but purposeful in our intention to love him and teach him the best we can so that he can be and do what we cannot imagine.