My oldest son is turning 8 this weekend, but he is about the size of a 10 year old. Tall and lean just like his daddy.
As I stood in the cake isle at our local grocery store yesterday, I got teary eyed. I stood there staring at the candles wondering how in the world I was already buying a number EIGHT candle.
For some reason 8 sounds so old to me… Much older than 7. Before I knew it I found myself standing there all alone in the isle remembering each birthday we have celebrated with him as if they were yesterday.
As I looked at the number one candle I couldn’t help but to remember how excited I was to actually be buying my baby boys very first birthday candle! I wasn’t sure we would ever have children due to my infertility struggles so when that moment came I practically danced my way out of the grocery store that day. We threw a huge first birthday and it is one that will always hold a special place in my heart. Two, three and four were smaller family parties that led to some wonderfully challenging years of many firsts. Age 5 was celebrated by a big kids party, most of the friends picked by me. Age 6 was his first year in full day school and age 7 was a party with friends, all picked by him this time… Boys only 😉. And now here I was with the number eight candle in the palm of my hand and I couldn’t help but to think how different this year some how felt. How much older he seemed… How much bigger he felt.
And that’s when the tears began to sting at my eyes. I probably looked ridiculous as I tried to hide them from the older lady walking into the isle. Although, there was part of me that could have sworn she gave a knowing nod in my direction, almost as if she knew exactly what I was feeling in that moment. It was amazing to me how 8 years could flash before my eyes in a matter of seconds. I just pray the next 8 won’t go so fast, even though I am almost certain they may go by even faster.
Later that evening I was reading him and my other two children a bed time story and he decided to climb up on my lap. Something he hasn’t done in a while. His long skinny legs dangling down almost the same length as mine. And all I could think is One day.. One day very soon, he will out grow my lap. One night he will climb up and find he just can’t fit there anymore. Or worse, one day he won’t even try anymore.
Our nightly snuggles have already begun to shorten and he often doesn’t want to take the time to hug me longer than a second or two. Each time I find myself squeezing just a little bit tighter… And each time I find him squeezing just a little bit lighter.
There are times I just want to smother him with kisses and tell him I love him a million times over, but after about the third time I get a “mommy… I know”… Which may seem odd, but I am grateful for because even the title mommy has started to dwindle and is slowing being replaced with just a simple mom. It’s those small things you think aren’t a big deal until one day they are gone.
As I pray with my boys every day before they get on the bus, I remind them that there is nothing they can do to make me not love them. And more importantly there is nothing they can do to make God not love them. No matter what mistakes they make, no matter how big or daring they get, no matter the paths they do and don’t not go down. I will always love them and so will their Heavenly Father. I don’t care how old they are, or how big they get, I will always hold their hand. And they will always hold my heart.
So as my little man celebrates his birthday my wish for him is that even though he will one day outgrow my lap, he will never outgrow taking my hand. I pray he will never be too big to reach for it when he needs me, and that I’ll never be too far away to reach back when I need him. His hand will always fit in mine. And forever will. ❤️
(Full disclosure, my sons birthday was a few days ago, but we have been hit with a power outage and snowstorm so this is posting a few days late) 🙂