Tomorrow morning, when you wake up, you will be five years old. It doesn’t seem like it has been five years since you were born. Those early newborn days seem like they were just a few months ago. I can still remember rocking your tiny little body in the nook of my arm, and one particular memory is on my mind tonight.
You were just a couple of months old and you were still dealing with a bit of colic. Every night, right on cue at 8:00pm, you would cry for about an hour. And no amount of cuddling, rocking, bouncing, feeding, burping or swaddling could console you. But your father and I would take turns, walking or rocking, until the hour passed. On this particular night, I decided to read to you while we rocked. I think the story reading was more comforting for me than it was for you. I chose “I’ll Love You Forever” and I smiled as I turned the pages, while you sighed and cried.
Thankfully, colic only lasts a short while, and you grew into the grinning baby who brought me so much joy. It is five years later now, and you still like to rock with mama. Tonight, we were rocking and I was talking about how much you have grown, and you asked me the question, “If I get big, big, big, will you still rock me?” I assured you that I would and I knew that I had the perfect illustration, tucked away on a shelf. So at bedtime, I pulled that same book out for another reading. I watched as you grinned at the pictures, and you asked me “Is she really rocking that NINE-year-old boy?!”
I couldn’t help but think about how far you have come since those first months at home. As one of my favorite bloggers writes, “you are big/little now.” You can write your name and you are sounding out words, but you still prefer crayons over pencils. You can set the table for dinner, but you still need me to pour your apple juice. You destroy countless bad guys and villains with your superhero powers, but still want to be reassured that there are no bears hiding in your room at night. You can buckle yourself into your own car seat, but you still need help carrying your things into the house. You can get yourself fully dressed for school, but don’t yet understand why you can’t wear shorts in December. You walk confidently into your class at school, but still coming running when you see me across the playground.
I thought about those stages as we turned the pages of our book. You are no longer the baby in the nook of my arm. Not even a toddler. Another year has passed and tomorrow is your fifth birthday. You are growing into a “big, big, big” boy, and I am so VERY proud of you. And tonight, there were no tears while we read the story.
At least, not from you.
I’ll love you forever.
I’ll like you for always.