I remember when I was little Mom had a tradition. The night before my birthday we’d have an extra long cuddle, a quiet moment, and she’d hold on tightly. “I’ll never have a five year old daughter again, you know,” she would tell me. Or six, or seven, whatever year it happened to be. She’d hold on as if she could hold me at that age, as if she was willing herself to remember that feeling. That feeling of holding her five year old daughter, before she no longer could. I’d nestle in (and probably later object), savouring the excitement of knowing that tomorrow I would be something else. I would be six. Things would be totally different, because I’d be older.
Tonight I held tightly to two.
I want to remember how soft his hair is, how it just barely curl-flips at the ends, how it smells of shampoo, cocoa, and little boy. How skinny and knobby yet perfect his legs and arms are. How his cheeks are round, how little his teeth are, how blue his eyes are, how soft his skin is. How his tummy and chest stick out, and how novelly cute his undiapered behind is. How his voice squeaks when he shrieks outside, how he can curl up in my lap, how his arms snake around my neck and he climbs onto my lap given any opportunity. How he’s gone from two or three word sentences to constant chatter in complex thoughts, and from funny-armed running to little-boy sprint.
Here comes three, in just a matter of hours.