My son turns 4 on Saturday.
He is suddenly long-legged and lean, leaping into the air. He makes up songs and chats on the phone. He crouches down in the grass and looks for snails with his flashlight.
He is Spiderman.
And suddenly, somehow, in between non-stop nursing and not sleeping, in between crying and cooing, my plucked-chicken newborn baby boy grew eyelashes and eyebrows.
Last night, in the late hours when moonlight fills the room and the jasmine green tea has kicked in, he joined me on the futon while I worked.
“Mama, I’d like to sit with you.”
In a moment between status updates on Facebook and searching for shirts on oldnavy.com, I felt a gentle nudge on my arm. I looked down, and he was still awake, his eyes as round and bright as twin moons shining in the pearly glow of the laptop screen. His mouth bent and stretched into a smile and he poked me again.
“But there’s a really good sale that ends tomorrow, and if I want to save 15% on all clearance items I have to order NOW.”
Sometimes, I have to force myself to remember that this–all of this–is not forever. No matter what. Whether I skim over these moments in haste, or saturate myself in every f&cking second, nothing will stay the same.
Somewhere, in between stressing and (not) sleeping, in between blogging and breathing, in between power struggles and cooking dinner, tiny changes add up. They lose their belly rolls, and their legs grow strong and sturdy, and suddenly, they’re out of diapers, starting school, taking ballet class and playing soccer, whirling and twirling into grownups.
And, suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, they’ll be growing their own families, struggling to hold onto sanity and sleep, while we go on trips to the Wine Country as our wrinkles dig down deep. And, eventually–suddenly–we will all become old, marked with the eternal etchings of a life forever and ever spent thinking about tomorrow.
So, I stared at my son, stunned by the weight of his body against mine, by the changes that have already taken over while I wasn’t paying attention.
And I shut the laptop.