I knew there’d be a day when I didn’t remember Feb. 28, 2010 like it was yesterday. When I would need pictures and videos to remind me of the details. It seems at four years, we are there. That day seems farther and farther away. And I know what that means.
You are growing up.
Too soon and too fast. It’s all happening so quickly. Those days and months of newborn life that were real and raw and in my bones, are now just in my heart. The memory resides peacefully, with no rough edges, few regrets and much longing to return and relive.
You’ve become far more than what I had even hoped. It’s easy to believe that motherhood changes people, but I am convinced it was not just becoming a mom, but becoming YOUR mom that has transformed everything in my life to something better. No one but you, Caleb Beans. Your warm, sparkly eyes and your take-my-breath-away smile have stayed constant throughout the years. You bring me effortless joy. I’m sure if I had a hidden camera following me around all day there would be countless images of me just staring at you and smiling. It’s because I’m so proud of you for just being you. You are one in a million.
One minute you’re bouncing around the house, running from room to room, chasing a football, pretending you’re Russell Wilson. The next you are sitting quietly in the car, looking out of the window with such contemplative innocence. You can be goofy and energetic and independent, and still be the biggest cuddle bug in the world. Often times when I pick you up from school, you’ll be the one sitting on the teachers lap as she reads a story to the class. You are the one holding her hand and scratching her nail.
The words that come out of your mouth are funny, kind and amazing. You tell people that they’re beautiful and pretty and cute. You tell them that they are hilarious and silly. A lot of times out of nowhere you’ll say, “Mom, I just love you.” You tell us stories of exactly what happened on the playground and you leave nothing out. You remember just about everything. If we drive home a different way, you’ll notice immediately and point it out. You are able to tell where we are going by landmarks and often say “Are we going to Edmonds?” or “Hey, we are going to Red Robin,” before we even get there.
You listen to everything, even if it doesn’t seem like you do. You are very perceptive. You encourage your sister to make good choices. You help me when I need it. You give unsolicited hugs and kisses. You make me laugh adult-sized laughs.
You are the best singer in all of the land. You memorize entire songs after hearing them only a couple of times. It’s amazing to hear you belt out “How Great is Our God” or “Lord I need you, oh I need you, every hour I need you, “ at random times during the day. You sing with feeling. You have a playlist of your favorite songs on daddy’s phone ranging from Pearl Jam to Chris Tomlin. You may love you some Jay-z. And yet, during your spring and Christmas programs, when EVERYONE else is singing at the top of their lungs, you are totally silent. In your words, you don’t sing in front of “too many people.”
You think the five food groups are pizza, fish sticks, Indian food, hot dogs and cheeseburgers – and you’re often appalled when one of these items isn’t on the menu. You have to have mustard with your pizza, hot sauce with your eggs and tartar sauce with your fish sticks.
If you spill even the slightest amount of anything on yourself, you have to change your clothes right away. You may have OCD.
You are my pint-sized superhero. The little boy who has to hold his pants up when he runs, but who doles out love, affection, compassion and fun in such a BIG and mighty way. Whether it’s stopping to pray after you see a fire truck blasting past us with its sirens on (“Lord please bless the firemans and whoever they are helping and keep them all safe …). Or walking into Sunday School for the first time, hardly knowing anyone, and sitting down bravely while we leave you. Or putting Kenzie’s jacket away for her or getting a glass of water. Or being happy for your opponent when they win at Go Fish. Or laughing endlessly over a knock-knock joke. Or hiding in the same spot every time and being AMAZED that we can find you.
The YOU that you are is the sparkle in my world.
Yes, being your mom has changed everything from the inside out. Outside I may have bags under my eyes and a “squishy” stomach (as you like to call it). But on the inside I am filled to capacity with the deepest love and most profound gratitude to God for designing you just as you are.
And then giving you to me.
Our relationship is my treasure. My bright boy. Giver of effortless joy. You hold so much magic in your heart and you generously share it with everyone, every day, over and over again. Thank you for forever being my heart, little man. Happy four years. You’ve made my last four years shine brighter than the sun. Love you to the moon.
You are my best.