|I'm just not sure how he's not THIS anymore.|
I knew my babies would grow, yet I still find myself vaguely perplexed when a fully fledged 5-year-old comes tearing into my room each morning. His eyes are blue like mine but his face shape is all his father's. It used to hint at my roundness, but in the past year or so it has lengthened, just like the rest of him. He's always been a boney little thing, but lately it's a different kind of boney. He looks stretched, sometimes a bit pinched. He's become a hearty eater, matching me bite for bite, helping for helping at most meals. Sometimes he stays at the table long after the rest of us have finished, polishing off thirds, fourths, fifths; fueling the growth that causes his ankles to stick out past the hem of pants that are, strangely, still too large in the waist.
I knew this was a very short, very precious time in our life together. A time with no alarm clocks, no agenda. Blissfully blank calendar squares that shrug at me each morning and say, "Whatever you want, you have nowhere else to be." Library story time, splash pads, frozen yogurt, naps, afternoon movies, Costco trips, couch snuggles, popcorn at 10pm because we're all still awake and, eh, why not.
I've been reveling in this time. Backstroking leisurely through it. Trying to ignore the glowing red expiration date that suddenly feels so close as to be almost menacing.
I'm glad I've recognized it for what it is while still in it: a gift. A precious, amazing gift. Endless, uninterrupted time to build him up, fill his belly-bucket with love, teach him that himself is the best thing to be.
Except, it's not so endless. We now find ourselves standing at kindergarten eve. Our late nights followed by lazy mornings will vanish in a swirl of bed times, early-morning alarms, breakfast before school and the frantic scramble for shoeshomeworkpencilsbackpack. Instead of a long, blank day stretched before us all ready to be filled up with whatever we want, he will be gone. Seven hours without my freckled sidekick.
|From my maternity shoot with Baby 2|
During the long, tortuous weeks of age three, I actually did some Google searches for boarding schools that might accept the monster my sweet baby had become. A few hours. weeks. months (if only!) without him sounded paradisaical. Fortunately, on the other side of three lays four. Creeping right behind that comes five and five brings sweetness, thoughtfulness, a real sense of humor. And since I now have another baby entering the dead-zone of age three, that sweet five-year-old humor is awfully nice to have around.
|Sporting a noodle necklace while hiking.|
(Although, I'll still have my 3-year-old barnacle at home, so using the bathroom alone is a total pipe dream.)
|Getting him registered then celebrating at Smashburger|
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