Posted on | August 22, 2016 | 2 Comments
I’ve stopped and started this post so many times that it feels silly to start again. The truth is, my words are stopped up; choked into the space between my heart and throat and filling me with the strangest feeling of fullness. Because, well, I am full today. Yet I can’t seem to find the words to express just how overwhelmingly good or maybe… dare I say it… great… that today is.
Because, you see, today is my son’s seventh birthday.
My lucky number since I was born. The number I tucked onto soccer jerseys. The number I write not once but three times, every time I write my birthday. My lucky number.
And J? Well, he’s my lucky number, too, isn’t he. The piece of me I never knew was missing. The wide-eyed, startling truth of a boy who made me a parent and re-makes me into a Mom every single day of the year.
It’s hard to believe that seven years ago I didn’t know this amazing person who shares space in my heart and head. It’s hard to imagine what the landscape of my life would look like without sharing his lopsided, over-eager, tender-hearted vision of the world. He is everything I ever wanted to be and so much of who I already am and I couldn’t love him one small smudge on the clear glass of his space in my heart more than I already do.
I have several friends and acquaintances who are just starting out on the adventure that is parenthood and more often than I used to, I have to choke back the “enjoy it while it lasts” that inevitably comes to the back of my tongue when they talk about babies or toddlers or pre-schoolers. But, oh my friends, please try to enjoy it. Even when it rips away at the very soul of your being. Enjoy it when you can’t tell where your tears end and the leaking drip of your breasts begin. Enjoy it when you want to strangle and prod and spank and scream.
Because it passes so quickly. It all speeds by in a whirl and tug of birthday parties and swim lessons and baseball games. It flashes past in a montage of never-ending days, one more push on the swing, one more nuzzle of the soft fuzz of new born hair.
It pains me, it does, to tell you to enjoy the late nights, the aching body, the frazzled mind. It pains me because I do remember those sepia toned days when the world was hazy with exhaustion and every hollered “no” echoed through my body like the sharpest of nails driven into my brain again. and again. But time paints and glosses and mends until the memories that stand the brightest are the curls and hugs and “I yuve yous.” Time waits and hands you a snow globe of the life you’ve molded, pressed and ready to view again and again with a smile at the images that peer out: first steps, spit prunes, puppy snuggles.
And before I know it, he will be even taller. Even older. Even farther away from the reach of my arms.
So today, on his seventh birthday, I remind myself to breathe in the sweaty boyness of him. I remind myself that these storms of attitude and anger and sadness will also pass. And in seven more years, I will look back on the memory of him now and wonder why it all changed so quickly and why I didn’t spend more time enjoying the multicolored moods and intense love of my long gone seven year old.