Eight years ago at this time, I was around 38 weeks pregnant, anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first born. I was nervous and excited, and wondered how my life would change once he or she was here. I was scared that I would suck as a mom, but I couldn’t wait for the baby to get out; you see, I like to sleep on my stomach, and when you are THAT pregnant, it’s damn well impossible.
Fast-forward eight years. I am now the mother to that first child – a beautiful boy – and to his beautiful sister. The two of them truly are the greatest gifts in my life, as they bring me more joy than I could ever know (as well as a healthy does of frustration). And yes, sometimes I still think I suck as a mom.
Our son, E, loves his birthday. Starting in early October, his birthday is a daily topic of conversation. He talks about it more than he talks about Halloween. He even says that we can celebrate his birthday on MY birthday, which is two days before his (I’m the 6th, he’s the 8th. Both Scorpios…could mean trouble?).
And this year is E’s Golden Birthday. For the uninitiated – like my husband – a golden birthday occurs on the birthday that matches the day of the month your are born. For example, I had my golden birthday when I was six for November 6; E’s birthday is November 8 and since he is turning eight, it is his golden birthday.
We are not making a big deal out of the fact that it is his golden birthday. Just wanted to point it out.
But, what my mind keeps going back to is the fact that my baby boy is turning eight.
When he was a newborn, and even a toddler, I thought a little bit ahead, but I never really thought about what it would be like when he got older. You know, when the grown-up teeth come in, and he loses that ‘little boy’ look. I mean, now he just looks like a boy. Where did my baby go?
When he was little and unaware, I could screw up and he’d never know. If I was angry, I could swear in front of him and he’d be none the wiser. Now, when I screw up, he points it out. And, when I get angry and swear in front of him (which, sadly I have been known to do), I feel like, well, shit. Then I have to play the role of hypocrite and tell him to never, ever say the word I just exclaimed.
At eight-years-old, memories stick. He’ll remember these days when he’s older, and hopefully the memories he has will be good ones. Hopefully we are helping him create great memories of a happy childhood. Because that’s really want we want for our kids, right? Health and happiness?
Being a parent is a scary proposition sometimes. There’s only so much control we can have over our children, and I am coming to find that as they get older, our grip of control loosens. We try to instill good values in them, teach them the difference between right and wrong, lead by example, and demonstrate what it means to be respectful, kind, and caring.
And when our children ‘get it,’ it’s a wonderful, rewarding feeling. E gets it, so that tells me we’re doing something right.
My hope is that he continues to get it as he continues to grow. And that the next eight years go by slower than the past eight years. Thinking of him driving kind of makes me want to throw up.