Pre-Birthday Time

Right about this time of year, I start freaking out.

It's the "pre-birthday" time.

Not my birthday (although my own years seem to be passing ohsofast), but my son's birthday.

Six, this year.  Six.

This baby that we hoped for and prayed for and wept for.

He came.  And he stayed.

And he took our lives and shook them up and pushed them forward and took all the breath out of us.

And so, as this time approaches each year and our discussions turn to cake and invitations and a couple of special gifts, my heart begins to beat at an incredibly rapid rate and I try and fit just a little bit more into the current age.

More outings.

More snuggling.

More activities.

More sitting and staring at him and squeezing him and begging him to please stop growing.

I try and sit and listen more when he tells me about the ninja-ship-training station he's made with his Legos and I try harder to come up with creative answers to whether Lego Luke or Lego Obi Wan is really the better Jedi master.

I am more in tune with turning off distractions and giving time for him to ask me deep questions about spirituality or checkers or music.

I practice biting my tongue and giving warnings when I may have snapped on a typical day.

In short, I panic.

I find myself clutching at these weeks/hours/days/minutes with increasing desperation as my children grow and stages and ages fly by in a whirl of color, never to be visited again.

And yet, though all of my being screams for time to pleaseslowdownwontcha, I can't help but urge him on.

In the midst of it all, I find myself encouraging him to do more on his own.  Sure, you can go ahead and make that bread and crack the eggs, too.  Of course, you can cross the street, just be sure to look. Well, I think you can read that all on your own now, why don't you try.  Well, what do you think about that rule--does it seem fair?

And he continues to one-up me.  He'll bend down to help a friend while I'm getting frustrated at how long things are taking.  He'll spend entire evenings creating gifts for his baby cousin.  He'll entertain his sister by letting her ride around on his back.

He bombards us with questions.

"Why do flamingos stand on one leg?"

"How can it be fair that some people speeding get caught and others don't?"

"Does God still love Satan?"

Isn't this the bittersweet of parenting?  We cling to the past, but somehow, can't seem to stop ourselves pursuing the future.

As nostalgic as our past always is, the excitement of the 'yet to come' begs us to keep moving forward.

And although my little boy is quickly losing the "little," I think I'll still work, as often as I can, to hang on to those little moments.

I think they're the ones I will remember.

Happy 6th Birthday, Ward Christopher.  Thank you for being the first reason we were called mom and dad.  We love you so very much.


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