Today is my son’s 9th birthday. Yes, I realize he isn’t exactly a baby anymore to the outside world, but always a baby to me. You know, these birthdays seem to be coming around faster each year. I blink and I’m adding yet another candle to his cake.
Chandler’s Birthday usually coincides with the beginning of school each year. It’s like a double punch of, “Yep, I’m growing up!” Turning 9 one day, next day 3rd grade. It’s a lot for this Mama to handle!
As most Moms do, I get nostalgic. I look at old pictures and videos. I show him some, and talk about how little and cute he was. I usually get teary eyed, painfully aware of just how fast the years are slipping by.
Just the other day, in preparation of our upcoming double whammy of 3rd grade and turning 9, I found myself watching some of my favorite videos from when he was about 3. My son saw me watching them, and got a sad look on his face, “You wish that was still me, don’t you?” He said.
I replied, “Well that is still you, you’ve just grown up some.”
“Yeah, and you wish I was still little.” He said, still looking sad.
Then the realization of what I was doing hit me in the face. I was making him think I wasn’t happy with who he was right now! He had to feel like he was competing with his 3 year old self! I was giving him the impression that him growing up was a bad thing.
I decided right then and there to change my attitude. I quickly wiped my eyes, hugged him, and told him age 3 was fun, but I thought my favorite age was the one he was right now! I told him all the reasons I loved who he was right now.
Of course our children growing up is bittersweet to us as parents, but we can’t get so wrapped up in looking back that we miss right now! This time next year I’ll be looking back thinking how much he’s grown, so I choose to celebrate the present! I choose to enjoy the 9 year old I have right now. I choose to be happy about his birthday, excited for all the experiences waiting for him.
I am not going to let him see me longing for the unobtainable past. I may shed some tears behind a closed bathroom door, but I will not selfishly let a sense of sadness steal away the excitement he has of being a year older. I will give him nothing but happiness on his special day!
I still have that nostalgic feeling of another year gone by. I could easily start crying even as I type, but I’m going to push those feelings away. I’m going to go wake him up by singing Happy Birthday! I’m going to make him a special breakfast, something with sprinkles I think, to celebrate HIS day!