My little, big boy. My how You have changed in the past six years. And how you have changed Me in the past six years. You changed the me into mommy. The first born is magical job little one and you have filled the position well.
We took the kids to Cracker Barrel tonight for dinner. For some reason “breakfast for dinner” makes them behave better. I spent part of dinner telling Bradley the story of his birth, a watered down version at least. I told him how six years ago tonight Chris and I were eating Chinese food and wondering if we were going to have a boy or a girl. I remember the butterflies, the nerves, and the excitement.
We walked into the hospital as a combined unit, and came home with a little non-sleeping newborn in a car seat. We were overwhelmed and so very tired. I couldn’t see past the next feeding to even think about what my life would be like when he was four, or five, or six. I know it is wonderfully better than I could have imagined that first week home with a crying newborn that we had to feed via syringe for 10 days while I pumped milk until it came out of my ears.
Bradley has changed so much since then. In the obvious ways, but also his personality too. He was showing us then just how sensitive he was to change. Birth jarred him and he couldn’t cope. In the same way that Kindergarten jarred him this year and he cried every morning for the first month. He is a sensitive, loving, and sweet little boy.
I went searching around for old photos of Bradley and got sucked into our old home videos. I was memorized by his squeaky little voice, and the chubbiness of his cheeks. You think that they will always stay like that. Their little bodies will always have the extra layer of baby fat still stuck in just the right places. I was shocked when Bradley got out of the shower the other night and I could see all of his muscles in his stomach. He is tall and thin and turning more and more into a boy and farther and farther away from the little toddler that danced around our house.
I must admit that this year has been just as hard on me as it has been on him. I miss him terribly. The afternoons fly by and the weekends seem to go just as quickly. He is away from me longer than he is with me and that is such a hard concept. I know this is part of growing up. The good and the bad of it, but there is a little piece of me that would love to travel back just for a day or an afternoon to spend some time with three year old Bradley. We would play Thomas the train, read books, and turn on our flashlights in his tent.
I don’t know that I really understood the magnitude of our journey when you arrived here six years ago tomorrow. I didn’t understand the power of a mother’s love. The fierceness with which I would worry, love, and care for you every single day. The part of my heart that would be filled in a new way because you were mine and I was yours and together we made a family.
Thank you for choosing me little man. I love you to the moon and back.
Tomorrow you turn six, but in my mind’s eye, I picture you at one sitting in front of the Christmas tree with so much time spread before us. Hold on tight, it is going too fast my little man!! Love, mama