My Sweet Man Is Turning 4

Normally I post these yearly reflections on Facebook, but with the creation of my blog, I’m switching over to posting here from now on. Enjoy. 🙂

It’s become pretty evident that I’ve become a mom of a little man. It’s funny and shocking how quickly children change from little bits to full blown people. And even though this is my second time in this game, I’m still overwhelmed with how much Ollie is NOT my super pudgy baby boy anymore. There’s something especially bittersweet about that considering he’s my last baby. I was nostalgic and sentimental about Lily’s leaving babyhood behind because she is my first-born and she is who ushered me into motherhood; but, knowing I will never experience any of these little firsts again kinda leaves a sting behind.

I think because he’s a boy, and history has shown that, in general, boys are wont to refuse affection pretty quickly, I’m particularly sensitive to his growing. I’m probably overly affectionate at times. I hug and kiss and cuddle my kids all the time. If we’re parting ways–for school, work, time at Grandma and Papa’s house–they gets kisses. No excuses, no getting out of it. Thankfully they don’t seem to mind. I just worry about the day when he will decline and my heart will break. He already is refusing hugs and kisses from Lily. Luckily he hasn’t changed heart with me yet.

Looking back at last year’s reflection, I laughed when I re-read how super lovable he was even then. And when I read that and see how he hasn’t changed, I think I’m crazy to think he’ll ever not give me love. He tells me he loves me–no joke–upwards of twenty times a day. I wish I could record his kissing sprees because he leaves me in stitches laughing at him. He will quite literally kiss me all over my face until I’m practically crying from laughing. And then he’ll smile his “I’m such a charmer” smile and putter away to go back to his playing. He is going to make someone a very fine mate some day. He’s such a wooer and romancer. He pets my face, tells me I’m beautiful, brings me random trinkets of affection, and lets me know he loves me more than anything. Such a sweet, sensitive soul he is.

And speaking of sensitive, he is all emotions. He hates being told no or chastised. He will immediately tear up from anger, embarrassment, frustration, or disappointment. For many people, it would probably be incredibly frustrating that he cries so easily and openly, but for me, I totally get it because I’m exactly the same. He just feel everything–good and bad–with such intensity. When he’s angry, he can see nothing but what threw him into that rage. When he’s disappointed, his world is collapsing. On the flip side, when he’s happy, nothing could possibly wreck his good time. His laughter is contagious. Even if you’re in a shitty mood, one tiny hijinx from him will have you forcing yourself not to laugh or giving in to his silly self. Usually the latter. He’s always been one of the most jovial, fun-loving people I’ve ever known. I believe he will be that person in so many people’s lives that they will rely on to brighten them up because he just does it so naturally. I’m so proud to be raising such a kind man.

Speaking of man…before I had my own boy to raise, I really thought that biological gender traits were utter bullshit. And honestly neither of my children are stereotypical girls or boys; but, there are things that he does that make me wonder what his chromosomal difference has produced in him. He’s a wild-man– a running, jumping, climbing, wrestling monster. It’s almost as if there’s something inherent in him that needs to fight. He wants to show how strong he is, how capable he is, how much help he doesn’t need. He wants to take care of me. He wants to wrestle the cats. He wants to build things solely to destroy them. It’s amusing and interesting. Biology is some funky shit.

But then there are the butterflies. He loves them so much. He’s not at all ashamed to tell anyone who wants to listen. He loves raising them, watching them. He’s got a deep-seeded nurturing bone in there. I’m so glad that he’s found this side of himself before meeting other boys in school potentially ruins that. So many people raise their kids to fit into molds, and I’m sure there will be some boy–or girl–out there who will tell him that butterflies are for girls. That painting nails are for girls. That pink Easter eggs are for girls. That jewelry is for girls. That he needs to act more like a boy. I’m hoping if that happens he’ll let them know they’re wrong. And then maybe hug them. Because that’s who he is.

I love that I can look into his eyes and see that the world has not crushed him yet. That he so freely allows himself to enjoy whatever comes his way. That he will bust a funky ass move in the middle of a restaurant with good music playing. That he will innocently, if not mischievously, investigate what happens when he throws the cats in the air. That he will find so much pride in counting to 60 or writing his name or changing his own clothes. That he will find whatever you’re interested in just as important to him as what he really loves. This kid will be your best friend simply if you ask. You don’t meet many people like him in a lifetime.

I don’t know what I did in a previous life to award me the children I have. They’re so uniquely different and complex and just fucking fantastic. And I get to spend every. single. day. with them.

My Bubba, my sweet little man: I wish you nothing but the most wonderful birthdays for your long, exciting, meaningful life. You bring out the best in everyone and show everyone around you what the most perfect and genuine love is. I promise to always do my very best to show you that perfect love in return. Happy 4th birthday, Oliver Poe. I’m so glad you graced us with your presence this day those four years ago. Feels like yesterday and also as if you’ve always been a part of us. I love you to the outer reaches of space and back.

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