On December 6, 2004 I gave birth to a baby who screamed so loudly and for such a long time, that the nurses had to separate him from the other babies. This was after 18 1/2 hours of labor, folks. I knew I was in trouble. The big kind.
At his two week check up, I told his nurse that I was surprised I had kept him alive for two weeks because, hello, it was me and I had never even kept a plant alive that long. His first birthday party was more of a 'I can't believe I kept him alive for an entire year!' party.
I worried his first year away on SIDS, falls down the stairs, mysterious diseases, bear maulings, spider bites and drowning in a teaspoon of water...because someone told me that could happen. The second year, I worried he was a future mass murderer or an evil genius. I slept with one eye open if he was around, lest I be pummeled on the head with an encyclopedia. Because that actually happened. Somewhere between the second and third year, I found peace in the form of some neighbors and good friends who opened up to me about how hard parenting was for them, too. My friends and neighbors who have sons were especially kind.
I took pictures and videos by the boat load- every day was cause for me to dress him in a sweater vest and hat (I know) and trot out the camera. I have the most adorable pictures of him bare butt naked, too...because that's what mothers do.
This week, he turned 7. He's no longer the baby who can throw up on command (that's true- if there was something he wanted at the store and we said 'no', he puked. If he wasn't ready to go to bed, he puked. So glad he outgrew that.) He has a big heart- one of the biggest and most generous. This week I lost (as in dropped) $100 in Target. The first thing Colin did when I got home was give me all the money he had in his piggy bank. I've seen him nurture and guide his baby brother far more than I've seen him antagonize him. (But they ARE brothers...there is definitely some antagonizing) He's well behaved in school and loves to read. He's one of the funniest people I know. He loves country music with a passion. (I forgive him for that, because it's music of some kind, right?) He is bright and creative- he is artistic and articulate.He has boundless energy and an iron will. He gets all of that stuff from me. Except the country music stuff. I believe we're all clear on whose side of the gene pool his musical taste swam from.
I hope the next 7 years are as much fun, as joyful and as educational as the last 7. And I hope the next 7 years go by a little bit slower...