Tomorrow we are having a birthday party for my littlest one. My baby. Although his birthday isn’t officially until Monday, this party is one of the “primary” celebrations we will have for him. See there are a few different kinds of parties. There are “school parties”–these happen at school, there are “family parties”–just family, and there are “kid parties”–kid only celebrations. Then there is the Mack-daddy party, the kid-family mash-up. That’s what we are doing tomorrow. Now you may think that based on how I’m talking about my little boy he must be a tiny tyke… Well you’d be wrong, in one way… ok in a major way. But I wouldn’t totally disagree either.
Yes it’s true he eats solid foods, sits up and he burps on his own. Quite well in fact. Truth is he’s a massive 68 pounds (although tall, skinny and all legs), he can work a computer better than most adults and will eat almost anything. So why the birthday pomp and circumstance?
You see this birthday is his last one in single digits. The very last one. And because he is my baby, (as I said, my littlest one) this feels significant to me. I know what you might be thinking: “why didn’t you have more children” or even, I should just get over it… While having more children is certainly something my husband and I have considered, there always will come a time when they too will grow up and it will be time to face the fact that I no longer have little ones anymore. Avoiding the grief associated with the end of their early childhood with denial or another baby is just a postponement, and will also put-off my ability to readjust and enjoy the next phase they are entering.
I felt the same way when I had to put bottles and cribs and lovies away. When bath toys were replaced because he preferred to shower. When he turned five and I was kicked out of the bathroom.
I would be lying if I said I never got wistful when seeing a newborn. I don’t know many mothers who don’t. I also know that as a mother, her child’s birthday is an anniversary for her. It’s a date that serves as a reminder, for me both of my children’s birth dates fossilized precious moments in time — the first was the moment I became a mother and the second was the understanding that I had brought two people into the world and connected them to each other and soon they would be connected independent of me. I don’t know why but that was (and when I see them together today still is) profound to me.
So Happy Birthday to my son who is turning into an impressive young man. My little man makes me proud every day and brings me so much joy, I cannot wait to see what surprises are in store as we enter you final year in the single digits.