then suddenly, he was five years old...
my youngest son turns five today. this morning, with the enthusiasm of an unemployed man who’d just discovered he held the multimillion-dollar lottery ticket, he announced he wanted the entire day to be his most perfect day. i assured him this day was his, completely. we’ll have mcdonald’s for dinner, per his request, and as i write this, a chocolate cake he helped me bake is in the oven and filling the house with a rich scent.
but at 10:55 p.m., at the “official” moment of his birth five years ago, i’ll slip into his room, all “i’ll love you forever”-like, and admire this ball of energy now at rest. relaxed. soft. stunning in his ability to break my heart in good times and in the occasional bad.
my son, b, made his intentions known before birth. he would not come quietly and without fanfare, ever. two hours after my obstetrician assured me there was little chance of having a baby that day i dove into labor. the labor and delivery nurse, who assured me that doctor’s didn’t always know everything, also nearly had me convinced, as we timed each wretched contraction, that the baby i would most definitely be delivering that day would be a girl. never mind i’d felt ‘boy’ since first spying his heartbeat seven months prior. never mind i had no girl things waiting at home for this child, no girl names picked out. never mind i had no idea what to do with a girl! if the nurse said so, who was i to argue. she was, of course, correct about that whole doctor thing.
“huh! guess we were wrong!” she laughed two hours later when, before even looking at my son’s charming face, i looked between his legs and knew that i was right. i’d be the sole cheerleader for this team of boys i live with.
he's been a performer since his birth, when his arrival amongst possible complications meant i had a huge audience of physicians and emergency nurses in attendance to watch me coax b’s entry into the world. since that time, he’s been “on.” perpetually in motion. always quick with a made-up joke, a silly face or a dance. he wants the people around him to notice him and laugh along with him. he’s not above acting like a chimp and sucking his big toe to make that happen (ok, the move works on me, at least). He doesn’t say it, but i often think “ta da!!” when he enters a room accompanied by his own fanfare. he’s like me in that sense. quiet at first, scoping out his audience, then eager to please and wanting to entertain when he realizes he commands the floor.
even though my husband and i look scarily alike, i think b looks most like me (aside from the unexplainable dark blonde hair, so like his brother’s that when they showed him to me quickly before coaxing him to breath, i instantly demanded a new baby. i’d already been parenting one who looked exactly like him). he has big, expressive brown eyes, tiny dimples when he grins, and a gigantic personality. he'll break your heart and then do everything possible to mend it.
it's his world. we simply live in it.
and i’m lucky to know him.