I know growing up is something to celebrate but I can’t lie that my heart aches a little each time another milestone has been reached by each of my kiddos. Everything becomes the first and last first of their childhood. The first time they see snow, first steps, first words, first day of school, first sleepover, first birthday party, first date, first apartment and so on.
Right now I’m sitting in the library as my eldest, the independent social butterfly he is, partakes in the Lego Block Party in the next room. I’m so proud of the little man he is becoming. So intelligent, so independent, never afraid to embrace a talent or adventure, always on the look out to become more involved. But each time he lets go of my hand to embrace something new, my whole being aches at the knowledge that he is growing older. He will always be my baby but he will never be that teeny tiny baby I brought home on a sunny spring day.
Braxton looks at the world and each individual he comes across with an open heart and mind. Always following his gut instinct, always wearing his heart on his sleeve. He feels so much that he often is brought to tears when he’s upset by something big or small. His smiles are never half-hearted but full from ear to ear. He questions everything with a thirsty curiosity. I never want this spirit to break, but I know that with each year he grows older, Santa will come and go, the Easter Bunny will be no more, laying in bed with mommy and daddy won’t be so cool one morning and soon enough holding my hand as we walk into the library will be a thing of the past.
The 4 year-old little person he has become is someone I, at the age of 31, admire deeply. I learn an amazing amount from him each and every day. Though not aware of it as much as I should be, causing me to take advantage of precious moments that I should be internally documenting in the pages of my heart. I feel my breath catch in my throat, realizing that at times I do move too fast and take for granted the wonder years of his life and mine. I’m trying my best to slow myself down as I’ve reached this realization. Living life for the small things not waiting for the next BIG thing to happen or wishing for things that will never be mine or wishing away the things that are. In doing so I hope to slow time down, taking in the smallness of my children, the innocence of their thoughts, words and actions. They say don’t sweat the small stuff, but isn’t that what life is made up of? A whole bunch of small things, small moments, small people that come together to make a bigger picture. As I think to my children with their small hands, tiny lips, little feet and (big) hearts, hand me a bottle of Gatorade and some deodorant because I’ll take sweating the small stuff any day.