I awoke this morning with the stark realization that today is a big milestone. My not-such-a-baby-anymore boy celebrates his final birthday in the single digits. It’s the final year of decade of parenthood, and I can’t believe we’re there now.
What F can’t possibly know is that he’s enriched my life more than I can ever put into words. We’ve grown up together, F and I, and while I wouldn’t change it for all the world, sometimes I’m sorry I had to spend so much time scrambling because it meant I missed the little things I’d love to remember.
Nine years ago, I was a kid preparing to be a mom. I can still remember the sensation of my water breaking as I paced the halls of the hospital willing my labour to advance. I can still see the horrified faces of the teenage boys who witnessed it, and hear my mother-in-law’s laughter as we walked back to Labour & Delivery, squishy slippers all the way.
I can’t remember the pain of the contractions but I can remember trying to walk them off as I paced quietly around the delivery room, my mother offering words of encouragement and holding my hand. I can see F’s dad’s tears as we realized how close we were to seeing our son, and feel his steadying presence as faced a terrifying new chapter in our lives.
I remember three pushes and the realization that F was born; the paralyzing fear as he was rushed away, out of sight, and the eternity we waited for that first cry. Nine years and many snuggles later, I can still feel the weight of his body on my chest when I finally held him in my arms after months of carrying him in my heart. You know when a moment exceeds every expectation in every way?
That’s what holding F for the first time was like.
In nine years, we’ve seen some ups and downs and by some miracle, I have an amazing young man. There are too few words and not one big enough to describe the love he brings into our lives, but there’s one thing I can say:
Happy birthday, F. Enjoy your last year of single digits. May nine be a year of fun, friendship, adventure, discovery, dog kisses, celebrating goals, laughing until you cry, and every other good thing you can dream of. love, mom