“Mommy,” you whispered first thing this morning, “am I four years old yet”? I opened my mouth to answer but nothing came out. Instead my eyes filled with tears as I nodded and I found my voice, “Yes, baby, today you’re four years old”.
I’m not really sure how this happens or why but it seems like us moms spend our days wishing you would grow up, achieve the next stage. Rushing you littles through potty training and sleeping in your own beds and no training wheels on your bike. And then, one day, maybe it’s your birthday or maybe it’s just a Tuesday, it hits us. You are never going to be as little as you are in this moment. You are never going to NEED me as much as you do right now. And that’s at once incredibly liberating and mind bendingly terrifying. Because you see, little Piglet, you and your brother are my world, my light and my darkness.
Fin, you are simply a joy and a delight. Even on your worst days (of which you’ve had quite a few over the last year) you manage to charm the pants off most people. I’m not sure if it’s your bright blue eyes or the blond ringlets that still haven’t gone away or if it’s the impish way you bury your face in my neck only to glance, side eyes, with a sheepish little grin. Or maybe it’s your tiny little chipmunk voice which you use to get your way at each and every turn.
You are neither independent nor clingy but haven’t passed up an opportunity to snuggle over the past year. You are affectionate to an extreme often holding on to my legs, looking up into my eyes and saying, “Mommy, I neeeeeeeed you.” If we’re driving and you’re feeling particularly lovey, you’ll ask to hug my hand which you will pull toward your face and delicately kiss. You’re also prone to holding my hand in a parking lot and stopping in the middle of an aisle just to kiss my hand. I’m always torn in those moments. Do I hurry you along so as not to annoy other shoppers or do I revel in these fleeting moments, sure to be gone soon, and let you kiss my hand? I hope I let you kiss me often enough.
At night, when I’m putting you to bed, you grab my face in your hands (your still baby-soft hands) and say “Mommy, you’re my best mommy ever.” And then I die. How could I not? And then I kiss your lips, we rub our noses together and I say “I love you to the” (and you say, ”Moon”) “and around the” (“stars”) “and under the” (“ocean”) “and right (kiss) back (kiss) to (kiss) your (kiss) bed”.
I just love you so much! I love your spirit and I love your compassion. I love that you can play all alone while your brother insists on playing with half a dozen friends at once. I love you sneak into my bed every night, curl yourself up into the tiniest of balls and squeeze yourself into the crescent of my body, our foreheads touching, your wisps tickling my nose. Oh, I know that I should send you packing back to your own bed, but I get that these night time visits aren’t going to last forever. Far too soon, you’ll feel like you’re too much of a big girl to sleep with mommy and daddy.
And so, for today, I’ll let you sleep with me, and I’ll let you kiss my hands in the middle of a parking lot. I’ll let you wrap your no-longer-chubby arms around my neck whenever you damn well feel like it. And there will be people who think I’m spoiling you, but really, you’re spoiling me. And I will soak up these beautiful, short-lived moments with every part of me. Because tonight I’ll close my eyes and tomorrow I’ll wake up and you’ll whisper, “Mommy, am I five today?”
Happy birthday, Little P. Love, Mommy