Today my son Jacob is three years old, and I am sobbing. This, I have come to discover, is what I do on my children’s birthdays. I sob. Because these children of mine? They are growing at a totally unreasonable rate, and I am not really prepared for it. And so, suddenly, I have a three-year-old, and I am caught up in the extremely bittersweet nature of parenting until I can’t contain the stinging behind my eyeballs anymore and it comes spilling out.
Why, oh why, oh why do they have to grow so fast?
The last three years of my life have been a whirlwind of awesome. I have watched Jacob move from helpless infant to little person, with his own thoughts, interests and concerns. He is no longer my baby, or even my toddler. He is my little boy, and soon (too soon) he won’t even be that. See? The bittersweet-ness refuses to be contained.
Before I wander too far down this track of Where did the time go? and I’m not ready for him to grow up and leave me! I am going to stop. Full stop, right here and now. And instead, I am going to share photos. These share the story of my son Jacob, who is one of the most amazing little people I have ever met. I am truly privileged to be his mother, and to have shared these three years with him. And as much as watching him grow so quickly makes my heart ache, it also makes my chest swell with pride.
Happy birthday, sweet baby boy. I love you more than words or pictures could ever convey.
The first thing that I said when I saw Jacob was, “He’s so small!” And truly, compared to his three and a half year old sister he was small. Today, when I look at him all that I can think is, “He’s so big!” And truly, compared to the baby he once was, he is big. That is cause for celebration. So I will dry my eyes, and eat cake, and maybe even dance. Today my son is three, and I have no more time for tears.