Adrian is growing. He eats like a horse. Truly, some days he eats more than anyone else in this family. He is also a slow eater, often forgetting to eat and instead thinking about other things, so meals can take a long while. Sometimes the rest of us run out of patience and leave the table before he is done. (We can’t just sit there and talk to each other, because then he will join us in our conversation and make no progress at all with the eating, and we’ll all sit there forever.) But he doesn’t seem to mind.

He is growing stronger. The hikes of nearly 10 km that we did in Mercantour were hard but there was no question about whether he could do it.

He is also growing braver, bit by bit. He’s always been much more cautious than Ingrid, both physically and otherwise. Case in point: both learned to ride the balance bike at an early age, and were then offered the chance to try a pedal bike. Ingrid rode off on her bike after 30 seconds of practice (around her 4th birthday). Adrian has been afraid of falling and hasn’t really wanted to try even. He did learn to cycle this month – on a bike that is way too small for him, because on this one the ground wasn’t so far. He still prefers it to another bike we have that is actually in his size.

Here I am, describing how cautious he is… but he has become significantly braver, or perhaps more comfortable in the large and dangerous world around him. It used to be that whenever we went for a forest walk, he’d always stay really close by my side, ideally holding my hand all the time. I don’t mind holding hands, but on uneven ground or narrow paths it really makes walking uncomfortable, so I often asked him to let go. A minute later I’d notice he was holding my hand again.

But now when we’ve been walking, both in Mercantour and in Tyresta (the blog post about that one will come soon) I suddenly realized he wasn’t doing that any more. He was ranging ahead, no longer anxious about the situation.

I wonder if he isn’t mainly worried about getting lost or left behind. In restaurants for example, if it’s just me and him and I need to go to the toilet, he would never stay at the table and wait for me, he always wants to join me. He also trusts Ingrid: at the buffet on the ferry from Stockholm to Tallinn, Ingrid and I took turns going to get food so one of us could stay with Adrian. But now at least he doesn’t need me immediately next to me. He even felt OK going to get another drink for himself at the buffet, on his own. Today he was OK staying in the car while I went up to our apartment to get some stuff, for the first time ever, and in a strange city to boot. Baby steps…

Favourite fruit: raspberries and apples.

Current bedtime story: Harry Potter (inspired by Ingrid).