I think back to all of the yesterday's and wonder where the time went, because I have blinked, I have turned my head, I have squinted in the brightness of our days and suddenly, just like that, we are here. We have arrived at five with all of our exuberance and thoughtfulness and trials and triumphs. We are here, on the cusp of leaving the youngest of years behind, on the verge of memories blurred, looking into the future. He will get to do more things "just like his brother and sister". He can play sports and go to school and do "real homework" and make new friends. He can climb giant steps dusted with playground gravel onto the bus, he can have snack time and stand on his tiptoes to drink from the water fountain and wipe the drips with his sleeve.
It is somewhat sad to know that these years of closeness, of rubbing my nose in the softness of his hair, of filling my soul up with the scent of him and the touch of his tiny fingers against my skin will soon be replaced by other years. These other years will creep in and twist around us and become a part of us, of who we are, and we will hardly notice them just the way we hardly noticed the years before, we will take pictures and laugh at jokes, and feel proud and worried and joyful. We will be broken and mended and resentful and curious and tired and awake and rushed and spinning and on top of the World.
I will hope that I did things right, just like I hope the same for his brother and sister. I will worry that kids will be mean to him, that he won't be able to climb those steps alone, that his homework will one day make him scribble lead frustrations in margins. I will ache for his heartbreaks and fight his obstacles.
But for now? Now I am proud and excited to see the boy he is becoming and the young man he will become. I think back to the day we learned of him, the one and only true surprise of my Lifetime. I remember thinking but how? but why? but I thought I couldn't get pregnant? I remember keeping secrets, wearing big shirts, drinking cranberry juice at Labor Day barbecues, because I was tired from all the telling an untelling that we had done all those years. Because I should have had a hundred children and I only had two. But this third, this surprise, this just when we accepted our family, our rich man's family people ,would say, just when we had grown into the enormity of our one boy and our one girl, we found ourselves staring the giganticness of a third child down-somehow, somehow, I just knew it would be okay.
And now? Now he is almost five and I am looking forward to the look on his face when he steps out onto the baseball field and sees us sitting there, shifting our weight against the morning dew of metal bleachers, cheering him on to the rhythm of backyard memories where a little boy once held a mitt three sizes too big for him and never gave up until he caught the ball.
I am looking forward to watching him play and laugh and the look in his eyes as he runs and climbs and leaves the mark of blue icing hugs on my leg. I am looking forward to him waking up and announcing to us and the world that today is his birthday. I am looking forward to making his cake and singing Happy Birthday, and just like the four birthdays before this fifth, his face will light up by the glow of pastel colored candles burning feverishly and I will notice, I will see, I will cherish that We Made It.
Linking up with Galit and Alison for Memories Captured!
Also linking up with Greta for #iPPP this week!
If you enjoyed this post, please take a few seconds to share it!