…and he is SO excited to be 7. I remember being 7. I have memories from before that as well, but I remember BEING 7, and feeling very grown up. I think my son feels that way too. It’s tough to let him grow up. Tough to let him be more independent and to not jump in and help him all the time. It’s difficult to admit that he is one-third of the way to 21! Can that be?!
And, of course, if he is 7 years old, that means that I am old enough to have a 7 year old. Yikes!
That day, 7 years ago, when I held my sweet little baby in my arms, I knew I had no clue what life with a kid was going to be like. I was scared and trying to adjust to the fact that I was The Mom who everyone kept giving the baby back to. But I knew that I loved him so deeply and so fiercely, that I would face my worst fears — if need be — to protect him from harm.
And oh, the sweet memories.
He’s been a cuddler from the day he was born. So many memories of him falling asleep in my arms, or on my shoulder, or laying on my chest. Or of both of us falling asleep in the chair or on the couch. And then me, waking in a panic because he wasn’t there, only to remember that I had laid him back down in his crib. Even now, 7 years later, if he’s feeling anxious or has a bad dream, I will wake up in the morning with him curled up beside me. He tiptoes in so quietly, I never wake up. But I know he’s there. Before I’m awake, I know. I just know. Because God created me to be able to know.
God created me, the one who can sleep through any alarm clock and most major storms, to be able to wake, fully alert, the moment the bathroom light flicks on, or the moment my child starts to whimper in bed from a fever or other illness. Maternal instinct is truely a miracle of God. Truely.
And all of the First memories.
The first time he rolled over, the first time he slept through the night, his first tooth, and the first time he bit me while nursing. Not a pleasant memory.
His first bloody nose/scraped knee/skinned elbow/split lip/cracked tooth/ingestion of something harmful (my iron supplements)/stomach flu/fever.
His first, “I wuv eww, Mama”.
The first time my husband and I were able to celebrate communion with our child, knowing that he had accepted the LORD into his life.
And all his Lasts, that I sometimes remember, but not always:
His last sippy cup, his last pureed meal, his last diaper, his last night in the crib, his last snap-in-the-crotch shirt, his last crawl, his last toddler step — you know that cute walk that toddlers have. I can’t adequately describe it. You just have to know it. Yep, it’s gone. Now he just has a regular boy walk. — His last bike ride…with training wheels.
Oh, my baby boy is becoming a young man. I often refer to him as my little man, but now he’s starting to fit the description. And he’s letting go of my hand. I watch him grow. I fret. I ache inside. I cast a plea for his safety and protection at the feet of my God.
He’s so confident. So sure of himself and his life. So ready to be grown.
And yet, he still holds on. He still asks me to read to him, cuddle with him, play games with him, watch him as he soars.
And I do. And I will. Always.
He’s my boy.