My baby, my one and only son that I love, is growing up - WAY TOO FAST. He mowed the lawn today - all by himself for the first time. MW let Little Britches help him some with it last year, but he had to walk right with him because he still couldn't handle the mower up an incline by himself. That's not a problem this year. You should have seen the smile Little Britches wore while he was man-handling that mowing machine. There was such a sense of pride and accomplishment on his face.
Little Britches is eight. He'll be nine this summer. It seems like just yesterday that we were re-doing that nursery fit for a princess! (We were told we were having a girl. SURPRISE!) Part of me is so proud and excited at how he is growing up. Getting to sleep through the night, not have to take half the house in a diaper bag when we leave, toting strollers around and not changing poopy diapers anymore helps, too. Actually, just getting to go and enjoy places is a wonderful perk of him growing up. He was NOT an easy baby. He comes from a long line of babies that didn't sleep at night. Honest to God, he was six before he slept all night long. We couldn't get that kid on schedule no matter what we did. He was a homebody from the time we brought him home from the hospital. If we tried to go anywhere he would scream something awful. And I'm not talking as a toddler, either. I mean from the time he was a tiny infant this would go on. And, oh, how he loved music! But it had to be really hyped up, fast music. You know how you put on lullabies to soothe most children to sleep? Not Little Britches. It was the extremely up-tempo rockin' songs that calmed him down. When he was five months old we were going to drive around and look at Christmas lights. I brought our Kenny G Christmas CD to play on the drive. The moment I turned off the other music and put that CD in - he began to scream. He wanted to listen to Bob Dylan sing "Saved". Remember, he was five months old. So, we experimented. It didn't matter what song was on - if it wasn't "Saved", he was screaming. The second we'd put that song back on he'd quiet right down. Can you guess what we listened to as drove around looking at Christmas lights that first holiday as parents? That was the only song we listened to for at least five months. I promise you - that's not an exaggeration. But...
Little Britches was also pure joy! Oh, he was happy. And laugh...honest to God he would laugh from the time he was born. My mom commented on it when her and my dad came down when we brought him home from the hospital. I simply told her, "His name means 'laughter' after all." And he was always so affectionate - a real lover. He still is.
We knew that after the ordeal we had getting him here that he would be our only child. So we decided from the get-go that we were going to savor every minute of every stage of his life. And we have. I'm so thankful for that. My sister-in-law made a suggestion when he was born that I buy a journal and keep a record of all the mile stones in his life or funny or sweet things that he said growing up. I'm glad I took her advise. Sometimes I'll get it out and read through it. It's amazing how many things I had forgotten until I read it in those pages - things I just knew I'd never forget. Some of the stages he's been through I was happier to see go than others. I have just always tried to keep in mind that it's all part of the growing up process. Trace Adkins has a song, "You're Gonna Miss This". If you're not familiar with it, it talks about all the phases in life that we don't enjoy and want to hurry through and how one day we'll look back and miss it. It's so true.
So, as I write this today, I feel just a little emotional. I'm so proud to watch my baby develop into a little man. But part of me misses that infant that I rocked so many nights. Or the toddler that was absolutely hilarious and I watched learn to walk and feed himself. And the little guy learning to tie his shoes and write his name. So, I'm just gonna sit back and watch him grow and learn new things - start spreading his wings a little wider. I'm gonna savor it and try to soak in every second of this season of his life because I know that one day I'll look back on today and 'I'm gonna miss this'.