Yesterday the boy stopped what he was doing long enough to pose for a picture with me so I could post the picture on Facebook and wish him a happy birthday. Then, like clockwork, Facebook offered me a chance to look back at all his birthday’s for the last seven years. Each post said the same thing, “How did this happen? How did he get so old so fast?” I sit here shaking my head still trying to figure this out, but don’t have an answer.
I know as humans, we are lucky. Our babies take time to develop and learn. Unlike other animals in the world who are born walking, then running, ours needs more guidance, more direction. But there have been moments over the years when I’ve secretly wished he would grow up a little faster–you know, so he would wear deodorant without being asked. But I surely miss my little guy who when I’d ask him a question would reply with regularity, “Don’t know, Momma” or whenever he saw a picture of a fish, he’d always call it a “gold”, regardless the type of fish.
“Mom, what’s your favorite story about me as a baby?” He asked me the other night. “Bay, there are so many…” I replied, but when pressed I offered “On your first birthday you figured out how to walk without holding onto furniture and the walls for balance and then walked around with your tongue sticking out most of the day. In addition, the temperature outside reached 67 degrees and folks wanted me to turn on the air conditioning.” “That’s kind of like today…” He remarked. Nodding I agreed but added, “Yes, except you’ve managed to keep your tongue firmly in your cheek today”. “Good one mom!” He said with a smile.
“Bay I don’t know how you became seventeen so fast. In the animal kingdom, you’d probably be old and decrepit…” I said with a laugh. “Mom, I was six when I said that to Aunt Rosie,” He replied. “I know,” I laughed. “But it’s true in this case” “As it was in hers,” He quickly added (She was 95 at the time). “Do you remember what she said to you in return?” His face reddened a little at the memory and then smiled, “She said,” I began, “I really am old and decrepit’ and then started laughing while your embarrassed mother tried not to look so horrified”. “Again, I was like six at the time…” He laughed. I smiled back and tried to get back to the point I was making, “However, I want you to know, you will always be my bay. I don’t care how old you get, you’ll always be my baby”. “Ahh, mom and her sentimental drivel” He replied so I playfully slapped at him and we both laughed and hugged. Holding the hug for a moment I added, “Happy Birthday bay, I love you!” “I love you too mom” He replied.