I love making a collection of photos to show the passing of time for my boys’ birthdays. This morning, I made this one of Andrew showing him from about one week old to nine years and I loved it so much that I printed it out and I carried it around for a little while I wrapped presents and got ready for the day. My favorites here are Andrew at about two and half (the one in the upper left corner) and Andrew at 6 (the one in the lower middle). He was SO CUTE! And I look at the most recent one…the one that shows me a sneak peak of 9 and I feel all this relief. He’s not just “cute” anymore. He’s helpful and and interesting and caring. There are things around the house that I can’t do, but he can (mostly tech related). That’s nuts!!
But seeing him all together like this I am filled with appreciation both of who he is and who he’s been AND I’m filled with appreciation of the journey we’ve been on together. I look at that nine year old and think “I’ve been at this one for NINE years!” That’s also nuts!
A few nights ago, Andrew was up after we put him to bed complaining of leg pain. I rubbed his legs and stretched them out and told him about the growing pains I felt in my legs when I was a kid. He settled down and then went back to bed. Last night, he got weepy about toys he’s outgrown that we need to consider giving away. “It’s like I feel like they’re alive!” he told me. I think he was sad about purging toys…but it also seemed like he was sad about letting go of that part of himself. And I thought about the growing pains he’d had in his legs and now it seems like he’s having a different kind of growing pain…one I can also relate to.
When my nephew turned nine, my sister-in-law said “It’s his half-way mark. He’s half way to being 18. Half way through his time living with us.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot and I mentioned it to Andrew. “Don’t worry, Mommy. I’m not going anywhere when I’m 18. I’m staying with you!” ha! We’ll see about that, kid.
Today I feel so grateful. I adore this wild little whirling dervish. He’s simply the best. :)