My eldest boy is about to turn 3. By the time you’re reading this post, he probably already has. In some ways I feel like he’s been with me since the beginning of time, his little soul traveling intertwined with mine, tucked into my breast pocket. But at the same time it feels like I was just holding him straight from the womb, slimy and warm and blinking his cobalt blues into fresh bright light for the first time – when I turned around and all of a sudden he morphed into a proper boy, brushing his teeth and having conversations.
In the most simple act of coming into existence, my little big boy has fundamentally shifted who I am as a human. Just being alive, just breathing the same air, just existing in my ambit, he’s changed my life. I was sitting with one of my closest friends over the weekend, her brand-spankin-new baby curled on her chest. He was still blinking his tiny dark eyes into oblivion, looking around with no associations, wrinkled red skin and skinny limbs that stretched out in startle, uttering small grunts and soft sighs. She described motherhood as great, and hard, and joyous, and sleepless, and draining, and taxing all in the same breath. Isn’t it, though?
Motherhood is a very complex thing. When Eli came bounding into this world, a surge of determination so intense he ripped my insides all the way up to my cervix, I knew my life was changed. Even that early on, even that first snowy winter night in the hospital, holding his tiny body against my beating heart, I knew everything had changed.
My kids move me every day. My kids force growth every day. They push my limits, they are refining me so that I become a gentler, more graceful, more compassionate human. Even on the days that I want to punt someone across the room, I’m so thankful, so overjoyed, so blessed to be their mom. It’s a very complex thing, loving and parenting these small people.
So here’s to you, little boy. Here’s to hearing you walk around the house saying, “oh my gotch, are you not kidding me wight now?”. To the tiny chip in your front left tooth. To the way you scramble up the stairs to tell me about your day. To your honest curiosity about life. To your cuddly, loving spirit. To your determination. To the bright light inside of you that overflows and spills onto those that cross your path. To the way you changed me, to the way you’re continuing to change me, to the huge impact you’ve had on my world in your few short years here. Here’s to you, little boy.