The lines that were once curved and soft are flattening, straightening, thinning out. The rolls and dimples, the belly, that little spot above the elbow & behind the knee that I squished and kissed with abandon are all smoothing themselves into the straight, narrow lines of boyhood. It is devastatingly amazing to watch him grow.
He wants to be rocked at night, for me to sing Rock-A-Bye-Baby, but he doesn’t fit in my arms the way he once did. I rock him, and his arms and legs spill over into my lap and the bed, filling up the space around us with the beginnings of the gangly limbs that are in our future. I think, “He is outgrowing my arms.” And then I think, like mothers and fathers before me, “but he never will, not really.” I look at his face as I rock him and I remember the small little thing he once was, the way he fit into the crook of my arm, and I wonder what places he will grow to fit in over the years.
He talks incessantly, in the sweetest, brightest little voice I’ve ever heard (but he’s utterly tone deaf when he tries to sing, which means he IS my kid!). He has these conversations that are somewhat like following a rollercoaster–they move fast, you can’t always tell where you are or where you’re headed, you can barely keep your senses about you, but when they’re done you have this sense that “whoa, that was quite a ride.” He says things like, “Mommy, I’m SO back,” that crack me up, and things like, “Mommy, YOU’RE not the best friend, I’M the best friend” that make me certain he’s going to find a million ways to break my heart over the years. And yet, I can’t get too upset, because he wants nothing more than to talk to & with me and his dad, and most of the time he says, “Mommy be my best friend?”
I watched him change from newborn to infant to toddler. Now I’m watching him change to “boy,” to climbing trees and rolling down grassy hills and pointing out trains and talking about school and playing pretend and becoming this…this…this BOY.
And it is devastatingly awesome, heartbreakingly amazing, painfully wonderful to get to watch him grow.
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