Five years ago today, I became a mother. Some might argue that I became a mother upon your conception, but something inside me changed in those first few moments when I heard your (very loud) cry and got my first glimpse of your beautiful face. That is the moment when I truly understood what it means to be a mother. At 4:40 p.m., on June 26th, 2005, I finally knew the meaning of true, unconditional love.
We’ve been through a lot in five years. I’ve watched you grow from a tiny (ok, maybe not so tiny) baby into a little boy who is a force to be reckoned with. While I’ve tried to shape you the best that I can, you are very much your own person. You are so strong-willed and yet also so sensitive at times. You take after your daddy quite a lot in this way.
You have changed so much over the last year. You’ve lost every bit of your baby face and now you are just all boy. You are growing so fast I can barely keep you in clothes and shoes. I’m just thankful that it is summer now so that you can wear shorts and I don’t have to worry about your pants being too short anymore. I’m guessing there is another growth spurt coming soon though, because several nights recently you have eaten more at dinner than I have!
This last year you finally got to go to preschool. You were so excited for school to start. I think you really enjoyed it for the most part. There were a few rough times, fights with other kids, and days when you just didn’t want to go, but overall I think it was a good experience. We also learned that you sometimes have a hard time focusing on tasks. I’m hoping this is something that will come with maturity and not become a life-long problem. You do pretty well in a one-on-one environment, but are easily distracted otherwise. You are so incredibly smart though. There are still days when you absolutely amaze me with the conversations we have. My favorite part of preschool was watching you on stage during your school music programs. You are a true music lover and you practiced so hard to learn your songs. You were so proud up there performing for your family and friends. Don’t tell anybody, but I might have cried just a little bit watching you.
After preschool graduation we changed gears a bit. You are spending the summer going back and forth between your cousins’ house and Miss Paula’s. I’m glad you are getting a little time to play and relax because in August, a whole new venture begins. You’ll be starting Kindergarten. I have very mixed feelings about it at this point. You seem to be very excited about going to a “big school” but I am a bundle of nerves. I’m excited for you, but also scared to send my baby off into the unknown. I’d feel so much better if you could go to Aunt Tanya’s school where I at least know some of the staff. If I had my way I’d wrap you in my arms and carry you through until you were an adult. I have this fierce need to protect you from all of this, yet I know that I have to let you go and it’s really tugging at my heart. I just am not ready for all this growing up and I know that this will be a life-changing year for you.
Five years ago, lying on that hospital bed, I never could have imagined the incredible journey that we’ve been on. I am so proud of you, of all of your accomplishments, of the things you’ve overcome, of the sweet little boy that you are. My eyes seem to be watering a bit as I’m writing this because I just can’t find the words to express what I want to say. The love I have for you is sometimes just so overwhelming. Of all the boys I have loved and cared for in my life, you are the one who completely stole my heart.
Happy 5th Birthday, Zachary! I love you so much!