It's so cliche to say this but, seriously, how time flies. I'm not saying it all flew by easily, effortlessly. But there are days when I do feel it's flying by too fast. Today is one of those days as we celebrate(d) Noah's 3rd birthday.
My baby has just turned 3. Three. Technically, I shouldn't even be calling him a 'baby' anymore. But I've gotten so used to it that I probably won't stop...not just yet, at least. That, and I really don't care if I raise some eyebrows in public when I call him 'baby'. So far, he's my one and only and he will be my baby for as long as I can help it.
I don't intend to spoil him and let him get his way all the time, unlike how we treat infants or newborns. But I want to savor certain things, for I know soon, these 'perks' will be gone. When I look back at some of his photos and videos that I've collected through the years, I can't help but get teary eyed some times because somehow, it almost feels like it's a totally different human being. He used to be almost bald, and now he's got much more hair. I used to swoon over his smiles and chuckles, exposing those cute gums, and now, it's all teeth, but no less priceless and endearing for sure. When I carry him, he's gotten so much heavier and taller that he's definitely more than half my height, when before, carrying him was almost effortless and he was just this tiny, doll-like figure that never failed to trigger everything that's primal and protective about me. (Well, that he still does. I think that instinct never goes away really.)
Any person knows though, that there are far more fascinating things than children's physical development. Personally, I find it almost magical, miraculous, how children learn things so quickly that equip them to deal with the world or the life that's out there. For instance, I never imagined that Noah would be speaking as clearly as he does now, considering he hardly spoke prior to turning 2 years old. Sure he spoke enough for me to be assured that there was nothing to be concerned about, but still I thought he spoke much less compared to other kids. Now, he knows all the letters, can identify them, spell his name and even pick up some 'bad stuff' I say when I get upset...yikes! Though he's still quite shy, he does, however, respond more to strangers now and is able to practice certain 'rules of civility'. For instance, he surprised me earlier during our short side trip to Target when he crossed paths with a lady who was pushing a cart. He politely said, "Excuse me." The lady smiled and my smile was even wider, brighter. I thought to myself, "Oh my God...he IS a big boy now!"
It's also funny how he responds even to some advertisements. Earlier, he saw this ad for people who need help with their credit card debt. The guy on t.v. said, "Do you have 10, 15, 20,000 dollars in credit card debt?" Then I heard Noah say, "No, I don't". I almost fell off my seat and tried very hard not to laugh. I did find it smart of him though and could not help being the proud Mommy.
I can talk all day about my son's quirks and habits but the singular point is that I am deeply fascinated with who he is becoming and can't wait to see what's next and what other surprises there are for me and his Dad. At this stage, I am certain of my baby's sense of humor and it's so amusing. I also see that he loves music and loves to sing. He is very shy, but quite affectionate as well to those he is most familiar with. He does have a temper which is something to watch, but not be entirely blamed for. I think I'm partly to blame, genetically that is. He is also very smart, sharp, with good problem-solving skills and is also highly observant. He lacks patience though and again, I think I can blame my DNA for that.
Whatever he is and how ever he turns out in the years to come, he will always be loved to the fullest. He is not and will never be perfect. But he is MY baby. No other explanation is required.
And while I can still call him my baby, I will...
let him climb into bed with me and his Dad at three in the morning;
let him play with my hair each night until he falls asleep;
let him ask me to read one more book and then another, and another at bedtime;
let him insist on lying down on top of me and ask that I rub his back so he can relax;
let him give me wet kisses and smell his baby breath;
let him ask me that I dress him up sometimes even though I know he can do it himself;
let him ruin my plans of watching my favorite t.v. shows just because he wants me to color with him;
let him interrupt my train of thought as I try to finish my writing just so I can watch him play with his toys in the backyard.
I will let him. For now I will, even though I know experts will probably castigate me for my choices. I will, because I know I don't really have that much time left. They grow too fast and I just don't want to say to myself that I did not hold him enough, kiss him enough, baby him enough.
Happy Birthday, my sweetest angel! I have unfathomable gratitude and joy contained in my spirit for God has blessed my life with yours.