Today is your birthday.
You are seven years old and, honestly, I just don’t know how that is possible.
People tell you that time goes by fast.
They say, in motherhood, the days are long, but the years are short.
Despite the warning, I find myself shocked at the time that seems to have vanished.
I think sometimes we get so caught up in our life that I forget just how quickly the time is passing us by.
In our busy life, there is always something that needs to be done.
An appointment that needs to be made.
A doctor that needs to be called.
A therapy form that needs to be filled out.
I rush through my days so hyper focused on the million things I need to get done that, somehow, I missed the moment when you turned from a baby to a boy.
When you were a baby, the only thing that would calm you down was me singing to you.
I have a terrible singing voice but that never mattered.
I would lay my cheek on yours and rock you while singing you are my sunshine.
Your little eyes would flutter.
You would lay your little hand on my face.
It was the only way that you would fall asleep.
People used to tell me to be careful.
They would tell me that if I didn’t teach you to sleep on your own, you would need me to rock you forever.
Oh my sweet boy, how I wish they were right.
When you have a baby, especially one that falls behind, you find yourself obsessed with the firsts.
The first word, step, jump, sentence, whatever else those awful forms ask.
I became so focused on the firsts, that I forgot all about the lasts.
There are no forms that ask about the lasts.
No one is tracking them and yet they just might mean the most.
I don’t remember the last time you let me lay my cheek on yours and sing to you while rocking you to sleep.
If I had known it would be the last time, I would have snuggled a bit more.
I would have sang to you all night.
I don’t remember the last time you cried when I left.
You used to be terrified to be out of my site.
Now when you get to school or therapy, you just grab your teachers hand and run inside.
I stand there and blow kisses and wave and wait for you to look back.
You used to always look back, one last time, before you went inside.
But I don’t remember the last time you looked back.
This morning I could hear you awake before you came into my room.
You used to wait until right after I had fallen asleep to sneak in and sleep with me.
Now, most days, you sleep in your own room until morning.
I heard you awake but I waited.
I waited to hear your little feet running from your room to mine.
I waited to hear my door slowly open while you checked to see if I was awake.
I waited for you to jump in my bed and then I smothered you with kisses and tickles.
I snoozed my alarm a few extra times to soak in all of the cuddles.
In this seventh year of your life, I am not going to miss any of the lasts.
I am going to treasure each bath time cuddle, extra bedtime story and childish giggle.
One day you will not need me to dry you off after a bath.
One day you won’t ask for more stories before bed.
One day your little giggle will turn to a grown-up laugh.
I am so proud of you darling.
Each time you learn something new or figure something out, I beam with pride.
But, if I am being honest, a tiny part of me wishes we could just freeze the picture.
A tiny part of me wishes the morning snuggles and bedtime stories could last forever.
I will always be your biggest cheerleader.
I will always be pushing you to do whatever makes you happy.
I will always help you grow.
But I will also cherish all our little moments.
And our next last time, I’ll remember it.
I’ll remember the last bedtime story.
I’ll remember the last snuggle.
I’ll remember all the moments before you were too big or too grown up to need your mama.
You may only be little for a short time, but you will be my baby forever.
Happy Birthday Sweet Boy!