(Editor's note: Yes, this is Post No. 2 for the day, but since Saturday was such a freaking busy day I have a lot to say. And neither my boy nor my friends are footnotes; they each get their own space.)
My boy is six. I'm reeling a bit. How in the world has it been six years since he was born? How in the world has it only been six years since I began this party called "motherhood"? I just don't understand how time can go so fast and be so tricky. I feel like I've been Henry's mom since the beginning of time; it's getting increasingly harder to remember that there ever was a life without him. In many ways, he was the beginning of me. I felt so aimless and unsettled until he came along. I thought I knew who I was and where I was going, but I think I was just a little disillusioned because looking back, I didn't have a clue.
But this boy. Oh my. We challenge each other daily in so many ways. I miss the time when it was just him and me, playing and talking and being together. A lot of our stress has come about since I got pregnant with Harper and things began to shift. And as he's gotten older and has started to discover who he is, we're finding that in the ways that create volatility we're very similar. We have quick tempers, we have a lot of passion, we are both stubborn as they come, we both have that first-born need to be RIGHT about everything. I admire this kid so much and look forward to seeing who he becomes as he grows but MAN does he make me crazy some days. It's scary to think we're previewing the teen years right now, as we both yell at each other, storm away from each other, slam our respective doors. All while Marc the Saint rolls his eye at us and Harper claps and sticks out her tongue.
Yes, we are a lot a like, but he also has so much of his dad in him. For that I'm thankful. They can talk and play so well. Henry is learning more and more from Marc as he gets older, and since their interests are so similar they actually enjoy each other. Every time we go out to eat, Henry finds the empty page in his kid menu and he begins drawing little Tie-Fighters so he can set up his half of the "battle" with Daddy. And when he plays with Legos, now he builds ships and guns because that's what Daddy's been teaching him. The gun control freak in me chokes up, but Marc assures me this is what boys do, and it's better to teach him early on the way to respect it. Blah blah blah. I know he's probably right though.
Thankfully, Henry is also himself. That's a good thing, because everyone loves him. We constantly hear how good he is, how polite and well-behaved, how smart, how sweet. Of course every parent likes to hear that stuff, but for us we actually know it to be true; not just some public persona that Henry's been trained to use. He actually IS a good, smart, sweet, polite kid. And we're so proud of him and of the fact that not only did we raise him well but he actually listens and remembers what we've taught him.
So to you, my boy, happy birthday to us both. To you, as you grow. To me, as I celebrate the fact that you made me a mom. The best job I ever had. I love you, pork chop. You amaze me daily and I look forward to all the years to come. I can't promise we'll ever get past the tempers, but hopefully we'll learn to laugh about it and embrace the fact that we're alike. You're a part of me. One of the best parts I'll ever have to give.