I’ve been trying to think about what to write in Munchkin’s special book. The special birthday story that we’re getting all the key people in his life to write in. I’m hoping that it will become kind of like a record of special people’s involvement in his life…family, but also teachers, friends, and so on. Boyo was the one who came across the idea. He read about someone keeping a book secret from their child until they were all grown up, then presenting it to them. I don’t think I can keep it secret that long so I’m not even trying. Instead, we bought a boxed book so that it looks different from all of Munchy’s other special books. And it’s meant to come out for birthdays…whether I even manage to stick to that is debatable. I’m a bit of a sucker when cajoled by my bluey-greeny eyed, gorgeously handsome, amazingly wonderful boy!
So how do I write everything I feel for him in just a paragraph? I want to take up the WHOLE ENTIRE BOOK for goodness sake. There’s so much to say! How much I love listening to him and his daddy giggling and laughing, climbing, tickle fighting, just being boys together. How I enjoy our walks together, especially at the beach. How fun it is, how amazing to have these conversations learning new things (today it was the letter F – we were thinking of all the words we know that start with a Ffff sound!). How I love listening to him say grace, and pray at bedtime, and sing. How awesome he looks dancing, and how well he drums. How incredible his imagination is, that I often listen in on his elaborate stories when he’s playing with his cars or train or creations and I’m busy in the kitchen. How I appreciate him being helpful, and how proud I am when we go out and he takes his plate to the bench without being asked. How cool I think it is that my son loves snails, just as I did and loves cars, just as his daddy did. How fascinating it is seeing bits of my brothers, my family, in my son. Bits of his grandparents, his daddy, as well as those things that are just Munchkin. My delight and embarrassment that my boy wants to have someone come for dinner, again. That he greets people with enthusiasm, and farewells them with hug and kisses.
How I love sitting beside him, tucked up together, reading a book. I love getting to tuck him in each night. I thank God every time for this precious, wonderful gift as I tuck the blankets over him while he sleeps. I can’t help but run my fingers over his hair and ask that God would bless and protect him. He is my gift. My miracle. And sometimes my trial. How do I explain that I wonder what the future will hold for him, whether it will be a good one? How I hope and pray that he will never have to fight a war, or lose a loved one, or walk through pain, even though I know that pain is a part of living. How do I write of my worry that he’ll grow up strong in character, robust, able to question but also able to know himself? How do I express that I want him to persevere? That I worry that this one thing, this pulling away from that which is hard or new or a little bit scary, might stop him from doing all the things that are already in his heart to do in his lifetime?
And how do I say, in a few simple words how much I love him? How much he has totally changed my life, our lives, and how we wouldn’t have it any other way?
I spent the first half of this morning (Saturday!) nearly ready to pull my hair out, shake my child, growl in rage, and have a tantrum (sometimes all at the same time). We were grocery shopping. Never a good idea. But he was also wild. Wouldn’t hold the trolley still. Wanted to help, but didn’t seem able to focus and be present on the helping front, instead wanting every item he saw and wandering all over the place (the only thing that saved him from going in a trolley was that he’s actually really too big for me to hoist into one these days!). I was frazzled. I’d promised a swimming trip but the shopping had to be done first. How is it that I can spend all week with a whole room full of pre-schoolers and survive that just fine, but I am undone by one small boy in a matter of minutes? Ah, must be mine. Yup, this one definitely belongs to me.
We finally made it to swimming, with most of our sanity and relationship in tact (there were a few moments of apology, both ways). I then spent the rest of the morning being Mummy, enjoying my boy. We had so much fun together, emerging only when exhausted, cold, and hungry. And I realised how much he needs that. He needs me, all of me, present, with him doing things he loves. Not just taking him grocery shopping or talking to him while we drive someplace. They are relevant, yes, but he needs more than that. And I should consider myself blessed to be asked for it.
My baby is turning four. He’s growing up so fast, developing a personality all his own. He’s probably going to be taller than me before he’s ten. I can’t pick him up much anymore, he’s too heavy and I’m too small. But he’ll always be my baby. You hear that, Munchy? You’ll always be my baby. I gave birth to you. I’m your mummy and you’ll always be my baby, no matter how big you get. I love you, precious almost-four-year-old!
Amy, who will always be your mummy!