There’s an exclamation point in that title, but I’m not feeling so happy about this day. Today is Lucas’ 5th birthday. How my baby has been on this earth for 5 years is completely beyond me. I remember the day he was born so vividly it could have been yesterday.
His birth and the months following it were not ideal. My husband was working in harm’s way in Kuwait, we were held at the Children’s Hospital at 2 days old against our will (for no medical reason), we had a scary bout of RSV which sent us to the hospital for good reason, and we had a child in the house whose sensory issues were coming to a head but weren’t yet diagnosed. But we weathered the storm, and our bond grew even stronger because of it all.
The reason this day makes me sad is there’s something about the number 5 that signifies the end of babyhood. There’s no denying that he’s no longer a baby or toddler. And while he’s technically in pre-K, he’s barely even a preschooler.
But he’s still my baby. He’s losing that baby belly, but he’s still got the squishy, chubby cheeks. He’s still got the chubby fingers. He will still hold his lovey. He still says “lellow.” He will still let me rock him in the rocking chair before naps. He’s still taking naps! He’s all too willing to let me feed him. He lets me hold him. He sits on my lap any chance he gets.
There’s a part of me that wonders if he wants to stay little as much as I want him to. When I ask him if he’ll stay little for me, he doesn’t always refuse. If only we had control over it.
So while I may not be able to keep him little, I will spend his birthday appreciating the little things. Instead of telling him to keep his hands off the windows, I will marvel at how little his hands still are. Instead of feeling frustrated by how unwilling he is to eat his peas, I’ll happily spoon them into his mouth. Instead of complaining about how heavy he is, I will be more than happy to carry him to bed.
And instead of cringing as he runs off to play as independently as the big kids, I will smile knowing that he will always be my baby.