Everything we did yesterday was accompanied by the thought, “This is the last time we’ll do this when he’s one!” The last nap, the last story, the last kiss good night. Done.
Today we celebrated the second birthday of my youngest child. My baby. Except he’s not a baby; he walks and jumps and sings and talks. At this moment I feel as if I’m perched on the edge of a rich and incomprehensible future: a future as a mom of two little boys. Two boys who screech and shout and run and crash and laugh. Two boys amongst mountains of Legos and in the warm blankets of hugs, until the mountains move out of our play room and my hugs become more like slimy octopus tentacles (but not in a fascinating-but-gross way).
Then they’ll leave.
Everyone promises when your baby is tiny and wailing in your arms at the grocery store that “they grow so fast” and “cherish it.” You smile while you secretly burn those strangers with laser beams from your eyeballs. So many days and nights feel like an eternity, HOW? I started to grasp the thought just a little with my first. Then I had my second. Now I see exactly what they mean. The past two years, they’re just…gone. Already. The soft squishy snuggles are a thing of the past. The burbles, squeaks and babbles are history. That sweet, sweet baby smell (you know the one, specially nestled in the fuzzy top of a baby’s head) has been replaced with an essence of peanut butter.
My baby is growing, as babies do. I’m torn between wanting to keep him this sweet and cute forever and wanting to see what kind of man he grows into. The time until then is a bit scary, as the parenting challenges evolve from simply nurturing to also guiding and preparing for adulthood. But this is the path we’re on, so we’ll live it well.
And what a lovely path it is. Happy birthday, baby Berts! This world is a better place with you in it.