Ever since I made the announcement that I was having you people started telling me not to blink because it all goes by so fast. So, I soaked you in real good. I snuggled you close for long lingering afternoons and let chores remain undone. I played with you and as I did, I bore holes in to my brain of what it felt like so it could not escape. I took pictures. Lots of pictures. I took you places. Lots of places. I would not forget. It would not go too fast. I would not miss a thing or regret a moment. I would hold on for dear life to the sound of your voice. I would ingrain your adorable Calvin-isms into my long term. I actually have them all saved on my phone. I analyzed your face from every angle , your fingers from every knuckle; especially how they looked clasped in mine. I watched you sleep. I still watch you sleep. And every chance I get I squeeze you hard like you’re leaving for your first semester abroad.
But guess what? I’m still forgetting. I’m blinking. It’s not that I’m not absorbing. It’s just that you are changing faster than my mind can lock the previous version of you in my memory bank. You are constantly morphing into a more independent, opinionated, stronger character. According to you, all this change means you may like mashed potatoes again. And you also told me you’ll never change so much that you won’t need my help building robots, so that’s a relief.
The things you said were cute and funny quips. But I did what I do and I took them to heart…..:
I told you that you were changing so quickly and your instinct was to comfort me by reassuring me that it could be a positive change…one that involves your old favorite side dish, mashed potatoes. You’ll never change from that incredibly kind boy who looks out for other people’s feelings. You’ll always find a way to look at the bright side when someone is down in the dumps and you’ll continue to make me laugh with your delightful introspect.
When you asked me why I wanted you to stay six a little longer, I was honest. I told you that as you grow you don’t need as much help from me and I really enjoy helping you with things. You made a conscious decision to always need my help building robots. I love that you know you will continue to love robots. You know yourself so good. You aren’t a flip-flopper and unapologetic-ally so. God I hope you don’t lose that. Because we do sometimes. We lose ourselves to become what others want to see in us. Or we lose us to how we want to be seen. We wear masks. Please, don’t do that. Do not cover your beautiful soul.
And finally, you put family first. You want me and your dad to help you build robots and forts and watch shows and you want us all to be together all the time. Believe me, I wish that wouldn’t change. And I will foster your love for that with abandonment. To fly is inevitable though. And I want it. I wish it for you.
Just please don’t forget that there will always be mashed potatoes at the dinner table waiting for you if you decide to like them again. And there will always be a stash of cardboard, tape, and markers for robots waiting to be built. And when it goes away, which it will surely do…. Well then I will find peace in knowing that I peeled my eyes open all the time. I did all I could do to stop them from blinking.
Happy 7th birthday. You are spectacular darling. Just spectacular!!!!