My sweet little boy, I spent so many days during your infancy pleading with you to please not grow up, like most parents do. Please stay this little and sweet forever. Please stay this small and snuggly and innocent. The older you get, the sadder I assumed I would be. At your first birthday, I pleaded with time to slow down because I wasn't ready for you to be a toddler yet. Toddler. The word seemed synonymous with "college-bound" at the time and I pictured you packing up a suitcase and leaving me for a life of your own.
Yet, the reality is, the older you get, the happier I am. The prouder I am. The more excited I am to see each new day unfold, each new phase of who you are develop in front of my eyes.
I am loving watching you grow. I am taking advantage of every moment of every milestone you hit, every new phase you enter, everything you do and say and love. I am soaking it all in because I know it won't last. I know the weeks will pass like seconds, the months like minutes and soon you will be entering a new age. A new phase. A new stage. A new layer of you. I don't want to stop you. I simply want to take it all in right here next to you, admiring the person you are already and, of course, the you you continue to uncover as you grow.
May you grow up. May you grow up and get older, taller, bigger, wiser. May I always be fortunate enough to be by your side as I am now in these days, these days where you both need me and want me around. These days where the whole world is you and me and us. I cherish these days. I cherish every second of these days.
You see, there is no greater honor than being by your side. There is nowhere I would rather be than next to you, on those days where there aren't enough hours to pack in all of the adventures that our hearts dreamed up and even on those days where we both long for bedtime because everything feels wrong and unfixable.
There is simply nothing better than watching you grow.