Every year as his birthday approaches, it's the same trip through memory.
"At this time, I was still waiting...."
"At this time, I was just starting to wonder if I was really in labor...."
"At this time, I knew I was in labor...."
And then, as the late afternoon sun slanted through the windows on a freak 80-degree day in February five years ago, I became a mama.
And I was so afraid of messing it up.
You do the best you can with what you have and where you are, but if I could go back and tell myself one thing it would be, "It'll all be OK. Just keep loving him. Everything else doesn't matter nearly as much as you think it does."
It's easy to see that now, of course. This sturdy receptacle of five year old boy-soul that wakes me up every morning is very reassuring in that way. He's a little lad who rescues ladybugs and was recently disappointed to discover that there's nothing more than dirt when you excavate through to the bottom of the sandbox. A child who draws maps of Africa and plans to start a roadside art gallery as soon as the weather is warm enough. He gets in his fair share of trouble, too--mostly for saying too much, a trait he gets honestly, I'm afraid--but on the whole? He's my favorite.
Happy Birthday, Monkey!