Yesterday my five year old completely broke my heart. We were having an intense conversation; you know about the rules for rock, paper, scissors; and as I was listening to him and looking at him I realized he wasn’t my baby any more.
All of a sudden I was looking at a mature face that no longer had those cute, pinch-able baby fat cheeks. I was listening to his voice that had five years of maturity in it and the vocabulary of a big boy. Actual, big boy words were being used like “encounter” and with a “boy” tone.
At that moment my heart broke into a million pieces. Naturally, I was proud that I could be having such a “grown up” conversation with him about rock, paper, scissors and, to be honest, a bit surprised that he used encounter correctly but, at the same time, my baby was gone.
I miss the baby days, I miss the cuddles and those cheeks, can’t get enough of those cheeks. But, watching him grow and become this intelligent, witty (sometimes too witty), fun-loving boy makes up for it.
I know as he gets older he will probably want to spend more time with his friends and less time with mummy and daddy or he may start to express his own opinions and beliefs that may be contrary to my own. But that independence, courage and strong will is what I want for my boys as they take their journeys to manhood.
My second son is only 9 months old and still has a couple of cheek pinching years left, but what yesterday taught me is just how much we need to live in the moment and be present with our children. We need to listen to them, really listen, memorize their funny faces and expressions and revel in their hugs.
We need to enjoy every minute of our messy, chatty, never want to sleep bundles of energy because time is fleeting. And, before you know it, you will be wondering where did your baby go.