As I stood by his bed, holding his hand and hoping he'd fall asleep quickly, I knew this was not his usual stall tactic. He was about to ask me a real question.
"Mommy, how do you know I'll turn six tomorrow?"
"Because it's your birthday tomorrow. January 2nd. You know that."
His big brown eyes looked up at me, fighting to stay open. Even in just the glow of the night lights, I could see his brow was furrowed in the familiar way when something was on his mind.
"But how do you know that I'll be six tomorrow and not on the twelfth when we have my party?"
I giggled to myself. I sighed with relief and the pure tenderness of his innocence.
"Honey, tomorrow's your birthday. You turn six tomorrow. We just pick a convenient day to have your party. We like to give people time to get settled after the holidays."
"Oh," he replied, satisfied. He snuggled down onto his pillow and his eyes started to close again.
At night, when he's just about to fall asleep, he's at his sweetest. His innocence shines through. He is so clearly a child, yearning to learn and to know everything that he can. It is then that I see most clearly that even though he pretends to be so independent, so sure of himself, really he's just a boy.
He's my boy.
He was a beautiful, little, tiny baby. 6 lbs, 3 oz., and only 15 days early, but he didn't fit in regular newborn clothes. I had to buy preemie clothes so that things would stay on him.
|Look at the waistband on the pants! January 4, 2007|
|January 2, 2010, yelling, "I'm three!"|
And he started looking more like a boy and less like a baby.
|January 15, 2011|
And he started doing big kid things.
|June 26, 2011|
He had interests and took pride in his accomplishments.
|January 17, 2012|
He started kindergarten.
|September 6, 2012|
|He was not pleased with the first day of school photo shoot.|
Right now he has a one-track mind. It's all Angry Birds, all the time with him these days.
|January 1, 2013, last day as a 5 year old.|
He's still my beautiful baby boy, just much, much larger.
Happy Birthday, Nathan! I love you more than you'll ever know.