This week, Charlie celebrates his 4th birthday. When the boys were babies, I would go in their room and watch them sleep in their crib. I was always amazed how big they looked in their crib. It seemed their growth became more obvious at night, when they were sprawled out in their bed, lying motionless.
Even now, when I check on the boys before I go to bed, I see how they are filing up their twin beds more and more. My boys are getting so big. I am watching it unfold in front of me, yet it still seems to happen in the blink of an eye.
Joe and I were watching TV early one morning. He was sitting on the table in front of the couch, while I sat on the couch. I watched him, sitting on the table, and I couldn’t help but notice how big he was getting. Then I was reminded of the fact that he is starting Kindergarten in August, and his big boyness became even bigger to me.
I eventually said, “Joe, you are getting so big.” He quickly replied, “I know.” Then I asked, “Are you excited about getting big?” He mumbled, “Yes.” Shortly after, Charlie came in the room and sat on the table (apparently our couch & chair lack comfort). And just like I noticed with Joe, I was amazed at how big Charlie is getting.
I’m no longer watching them with my breath held, as they attempt to climb up to the couch, chair or -ahem – table. They are old enough to go outside without Rob and me following along immediately. Strollers, cribs, high chairs and diapers are all things of the past. Entertainers, bouncy seats and push toys are long gone. Now it’s Tinker toys, Lincoln logs, Legos
and 100+ piece puzzles; Crayons, paints,
glue sticks and scissors.
I am enjoying the boys more and more as they grow. I love listening to Joe and Charlie interact with each other, each one confident in his knowledge. Joe is the teacher, explaining things to Charlie. And Charlie is the ever-trusting younger brother, seeking Joe’s advice on the littlest thing. “Joe, should I use the orange crayon or the red one? Orange or red, which one?”
When out of various stages, it becomes easy to romanticize about newborns and infants. But, I’m not looking to experience the sleepless nights, colic cries and changing of diapers again. Still … little outfits, sweet baby breath, tiny fingers on a tiny hand holding your seemingly gigantic thumb tightly… Well, maybe one sleepless night. Happy birthday, Charlie; I love you.