Thursday, March 28, 2013

Bittersweet Birthday

I went into labor at around 5:30PM on March 25, 2009.  I was watching the Simpsons and folding laundry.  No big deal.  Contractions 5 to 7 minutes apart.  I didn't figure that it'd take more than 10 or 12 hours.  I could manage.

I remember the drive to the hospital very clearly.  It was the 27th of March, 2009, and it felt like I'd been in labor for an eternity.  This wasn't a trip to labor and delivery, though; I was just going in for my weekly check-up hoping I'd progressed enough to be admitted.  The early afternoon sun shone through the windows, making me uncomfortably hot even with the AC on.  The radio played Michael Franti and Spearhead - Say Hey. The drive down Campbell was punctuated by contractions.

The walk into the hospital was slow...stopping occasionally for contractions.  There was a contraction in the elevator, another while signing in, and a couple while waiting.  At least all that contracting got me admitted.  It only took another day to finally get the boy out.

At 12:33PM on Saturday, March 28, 2009, I had my son.  Believe it or not, this is the first time I've done the math.  67 hours.  I've always said around 72, so I guess I should cut the kid some slack, right?  He looked a lot like Beldar Conehead at first, thanks to the suction cup.  Thankfully that wasn't permanent.  He was 8lbs 3ozs and 20 inches...10 fingers, 10 toes, chubby cheeks and blonde hair.  He was an absolutely perfect little human. :)

The first year passed much too quickly.  He was talking at 7 months - his first word was cat, his second was boob.  Not long after, he took his first steps in grandma's classroom.  He hasn't stopped moving since.  I cried when he turned one.

The aging stuff just doesn't stop.  I feel myself getting older, but it's not as shocking as the speed at which my son ages.  There should be a pause button.  There should be some way to slow down the first years....they're so full of wonder.  Even having been there for everything, I feel that I must have missed things.  Before I knew it, my little boy was not so little anymore.  He was doing things for himself, speaking in complete sentences, and forming opinions of his own.  And then he was two, and I cried again.

The journey to three cleaned up some of his language that'd previously been both hilarious and potentially embarrassing.  Long before turning three, he started saying bike instead of cock, and firetruck replaced firefuck.  He got his first haircut.  He went to a babysitter.  He held a baby chick.  He traveled to KS in a car to meet family.  He started liking movies (Puss in Boots was his favorite for a while).  He got taller, he got more outspoken, and he stayed cuddly and sweet.  And then he was three.  I cried.

Three was a year full of learning.  He mastered the potty, which was a milestone that made me happy.  No more diapers!  He started learning his letters and numbers, figured out how to use the computer by himself, and he started school.  He also began developing empathy - crying during sad parts of movies (Brave and Frankenweenie).  It broke my heart a little to see him so upset, but I also felt proud of him for his caring heart.  He's content to play outside all day.  A movie day works just as well.  Hulk is his favorite hero, and The Avengers is his favorite movie.  I really think both two and three deserve some extra time.  So much is going seems unfair to rush.

Last night I cuddled my 3-year-old for the last time.  I gave him kisses and told him I love him, and felt unbelievably sad.  He really isn't a baby anymore.  As awesome as all his growing and developing is, and as much as I love the little boy he is, I can't help but miss the baby he was...and I can't help wanting time to slow down.

Today he's four, and I've only cried a little.
He's at school...having cupcakes and strawberries.  He'll go to his dad's for a bit after school, and when he comes home he'll have pizza, cake, and ice cream before opening the last of his presents.  My son is four.

I really want this to slow down.

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