|Mere hours old.|
What was this? What was happening to me?! I've always inwardly shook my head at people that have cried over their children getting older while I outwardly empathized. What is there to cry about? It's a celebration! A time to celebrate another wonderful year of new stages, new lessons, new growth. But there I was. Crying, feeling ridiculous and somehow not able to come to terms about the mere fact that you're simply going to be one year older.
My Mother always told me that the first five years in a child's life are the most important. Important for what reason, I'm not sure. Perhaps the first five years of a person's life can shape them into the adult they will one day too soon become. A good indication of the person they will be, their values and morals. That sentence that my Mother told me years and years ago has stayed with me. And now here you are. You've arrived at five. I'm finding it very difficult to wrap my head around it and wondering if I've done a good enough job and have done right by you so far. I believe I have. I hope.
These past five years with you in my life, Adrian, as one third of my heart and soul keeper have been the most wonderful, the most challenging and the most life changing five years of my life. You made me such a huge part of who I am today.
You made me a Mother and a better person.
You continue to do that.
You are five but you still hold my hand. You even gave my hand three squeezes on the walk to school the other day which just about made my heart explode out of my chest. One squeeze for every word...
I. (squeeze) Love. (squeeze) You. (squeeze)
I taught you that on one of our first walks to school. And you remembered.
You are five but you still want me and only me to lay my head down next to yours at night and tickle your back until you fall asleep.
You are five but you still climb into our bed almost every night and lay as close to me as possible.
You are five but you still have that little lisp when you say your 's's. I can't get enough of the way you say 'sassafras' or 'suffering succotash.' The cuteness is almost too much to bear.
You are five but you still love to sit on my lap whenever possible even though my legs almost immediately fall asleep under all of 50 pounds of you.
You are five but you let me give you as many kisses as I wish when I drop you off at school. Okay so you might squirm a little with protest but you're smiling when you do. And you may not always respond with an 'I love you too' after I tell you as much. But I know you love me. I know you do. Even on those days that seem so far in the future but which will only come too quickly, when you might think or say or yell otherwise about or to me...just know that I know, you love me.
Yes. Even then.
And I, you. No matter what. No. Matter. What.
Always, always know that sweet boy.
I find myself lately during these moments wondering if the next time will come. You're not a baby, nor a toddler, nor a pre-schooler. You are only getting older. These heart tender moments that I at times take for granted will someday come to an end. But I'll tell you something...something I often tell you and with which you smile quietly about...you will always be my baby. Even at 55 you'll be my baby and that's a fact.
The few days leading up to your fifth I felt as though I was grasping at the last bit of your four year old self and it just seemed to be slipping by too fast. I keep thinking if these five years passed by this quickly and time only seems to accelerate as we age...well 15, 20, 25, 30 will be right here before I know it.
Childhood is a beautiful and delicate time. Like a handful of glitter thrown in the air. It feels like it's everywhere and will be around forever...it drives you a bit crazy and you may wish it away. But you can't help but admire it at the same time. Sparkles abound and catch light in every corner and reflect off of every surface. It seems as though you cannot escape it. But even that last piece of glitter floats away eventually. I suppose that's how I feel right now...I need to revel in the shiny beatific beauty of your childhood because too soon I feel like I might look back and wonder where it all went...hoping with a desperate heart that I didn't miss a thing.
Sweet boy of mine, today you are five. You have gone from a chunkalicious high spirited newborn that cried torrential tears when you were upset and giggled and smiled so amazingly when you were happy that it seemed sun beams shot out of your dimples and beautiful blue eyes. You quickly turned into a toddler that exhausted and entertained me beyond any kind of normal. And then into a smart as a whip pre-schooler who had raging tantrums and still tore around like a miniature tornado with incomparable energy. You are five now. You have a much more contained energy though still a ton of it along with a mind that doesn't stop and a mouth that enjoys to mock mine. Your tantrums are few and far between now and even then a mere whisper of what they used to be. You love to learn and read. You are writing your own name and printing words out now and you love to do so. You are beginning to read words. And to the humourous and wondrous chagrin of your father and I when we spell out words while conversing, you now can (sometimes) figure out what we're saying. You are a lover of things strange and unusual. It seems at times you fear nothing...though now you are showing a more vulnerable side that captures my heart even more if that is even possible. You are a chocoholic and a carboholic but you enjoy most foods. Except you are a major disliker of crispy bacon, olives and eggplant. You love Superheroes especially Spider-Man, playing Beyblades, conjuring magic, playing videos games on your DS and yes you even enjoy playing with your little brother (most of the time)...you make each other laugh more than anyone else and I take such delight in hearing you together. You have an incredible imagination even though your favourite sentence lately is "I'm bored". You are coming to realize 'bored' is not an option in our house so you're quick to move on and find something to do. You love sports and are already amazingly athletic. You are a lover of animals and all things living. You are very smart with a great sense of humour and a wonderful quirky way about you. You are independent. You are incredibly social. Your circle of friends rival your father's and mine. I hope you keep a lot of these friends, for childhood friends are unlike any you'll have after. You're cranky when you're hungry and moody when you're tired. And when you are both you're next to impossible. Then again who isn't? But when you laugh and smile I still still those beautiful rays of light shine from your eyes just like when you were a four month old babe. And oh how can anyone resist those dimples?!
Can your father and I tell you how proud we are of you? So proud Adrian. So very, very proud.
Today I took your face in my hands, squishing your still soft and chubbalicious cheeks gently in them, your full lips pouted outwardly as they had no other place to go. I kissed them and I asked you jokingly, "Do you even know how much I love you? Do. You. Even. Know???" I do this often, with playful aggression at random times. This usually occurs while passing through a room and seeing you there. My love for you suddenly seizes me fiercely by the heart and squeezes so hard I feel short of breath that there really is no other choice than to do this to you. It sounds kind of crazy I know. But you'll come to love that about me someday. Maybe you already do. You always answer my silly question with a huge smile, "No!" And it's not because I don't show you how much I adore you. There is no possible way I could be any more loving or not tell you enough because I tell you at least half a dozen times a day. But the truth is you really don't know how much I love you. For the love a parent has for their child reaches eternity and beyond and back again a million, trillion, bajillion times over. (it's a scientific fact you know) It resides in the deepest depths of the heart and in corners of the soul you never even knew existed before your little bundle of preciousness arrived. Someday you will know how much I love you. Someday. When you have a child yourself. But not until then. (don't rush it)
So there you go angel face. If you've understood from this letter even the tiniest speck of love that lives in my heart for you that is still enormous.
Happy Fifth Birthday Aidykins.
(three squeezes from my hand to yours)
|You and me...in the early months.|
|In your happy place. On the beach. xo|