Today, Ethan turned five.
It's been a birthday I've had trouble coming to grips with. Five. After all, it's the end of babyhood as we know it. Five begins new adventures, bigger adventures, different adventures. I've been trying to remind myself that they're still adventures all the same.
I've spent so much time trying to remember every single day that Ethan and I have spent together over these past five years. He has been my sidekick from day one. If I close my eyes I can still recall those exhausting, terrifying new days of first-time motherhood and infancy: colic, reflux, thrush, crying -- from both of us -- and trying to find ways to spend the day. I can still remember those lazy afternoons of rocking my infant son in my arms as I hummed Iron and Wine songs to him softly. And then he grew, slowly but surely. Walking, talking (never shutting up), learning, developing into not just my son but my best friend. The person I spent every moment of every day with. The one who saw me through heartache and the greatest pain one can ever endure. It is him who I credit for my spirit staying in tact when I thought I was losing it, losing everything. He is the reason I'm still here, the one I attribute every ounce of this beautiful life to.
In August, he begins preschool and though it's just two mornings a week, my throat catches when I think of how different things will be. Different, but not bad, I am trying to remind myself. With everything he does, my world swirls with pride and love and joy and I know this is just another opportunity to be his biggest cheerleader. His biggest fan.
Per Ethan's request, he spent the day playing with the new gifts that we surprised him with when he woke up this morning. We met my husband at Starbucks for an impromptu coffee break and then later had dinner at Smokey Bones, his favorite restaurant. Our house looks a little like Pinterest and Party City threw up all over the place as I work (and stress) myself to the bone for his birthday party this weekend. His fifth birthday party. Five. It's all so surreal, really.
This child. This little boy. He embodies hope and promise. He is the future. He is love personified. He is five today and I am proud, so proud, to be his mommy.