He’s 8 today. Sweet petunias, we have been through thick and thin and back again. He has both strengthened me, and weakened me. He has given me an uncountable measure of joy. And also, a fair amount of fear. He was the one who blazed our family trail for sleepless nights, colicky crying for months on end, and growing a welterweight. And he has been, to date, one the greatest accomplishments God has entrusted us with.
He is our Oldest. The newly-minted 8 year old. And I find myself wondering…
Will it be the last year for kisses on the cheek in public? Will he become averse to the feeling of comfort that currently offers and instead, be overwhelmed by any feelings of embarrassment that might start to creep into his world?
Will it be the last year that he will want to hold my hand or sit on my lap or ask me to lay just a little longer and run his back?
Will it be the last year that he will fully wrap his heart around the Magic of Christmas? And Easter?
Will it be the last year that he will not give me the heaviest eye roll of all eye rolls when I tell him each day to, “go change the world!” Or that he is infinitely unique?
Will it be the last year he will still call me mommy? And want me to play Legos with him?
Will it be the last year that my Oldest boy let’s himself be little and giggly and goofy and uncool?
Will it be the last year that he wants to dance in the kitchen and lets his head fall back, his eyes shut tight, and allows the music to be his feeling for just a bit?
Will it be the last year he sings out loud with a smile at the school concert? The last year he’s sad when there’s a snow day? The last year that he prefers home to anywhere else?
Will it be the last?
Or will it be his first year where he starts to see that when we tell him he has a gift, he believes us?
Will it be his first year where he decides to clean his room?
Will it be his first year that he goes away to summer camp or has a friend sleepover?
Will it be his first year where he tries a new sport and loves it?
Will it be the year he starts to think of girls in a whoooooole different light?
Will it be his first year of the rest of his life? Well. That’s the one thing that is for sure.
I find that as we move towards the tween years, I daily look for a way to balance the give and take… the push and pull… the little and not as little anymore. I hold on adoringly to those gifts of motherhood that we never know the last of until they are in the rear view mirror but also look at the future with excitement over the young man he is already beginning to let peek through day after day.
For every day brings firsts and lasts. Every day brings easy and hard. And every day brings the reminder that parenting teaches us as much as we get to think we teach them.
Hello, eight. You are a wonderful mysterious gift and we can’t wait to get to know you. And to seven, thank you for the snuggles, the books upon books read together by the light on the dresser, the conversations about the world and history and the planets and life, and the incredible journey that parenting continues to be. I will hold onto it all as long as I can and rejoice in the new things ahead. For he is a true and soulful spirit and whether he calls me mommy or mom, I’m just so happy to share this earth with him through it all.
Happy birthday to our darling Barrett (officially BB8). You are inquisitive, insightful, loving, intelligent, and a reminder to me of hope in ever day in every way.
Whether this year brings firsts or lasts, I am ready and willing. And always along for the ride.