If you don't recogise this baby, it's my firstborn. Still as cute but not as chubby. Ben will be celebrating his THIRD birthday in two weeks. I can hardly believe how fast it's flown by. I look at those pictures of him.
His chubby sweetness, couldn't you just gobble him up? I miss the dependency of infancy. The ability to bury one's head into the infinite softness of the chubby neck rolls without objection. Not only is there no longer neck rolls, but there is a great deal of objection to the burying. I long for a moment longer to hold Ben as a baby. That moment has come and gone and will never come back. I know we'll have more babies, but we won't ever have Ben as a baby again. Why didn't I hold on a little tighter when I had the chance? I wouldn't have waited so expectantly for the moments when he took his first step or said his first word. I would have begged him "please... sweet, chubby, baby Ben...be my baby for a little bit longer." And now he's turning three. I feel his predicament daily, of the battle raging within him to develop his independance and desire to hang on to mommy for support at the same time. One minute it "I WANNA DO IT MYSELF!" and then minutes later he's clinging to my leg in fear of facing the dark staircase to upstairs. Last night he had a scary dream and came to my bedside trembling in fear, he looked so small and afraid in the dark. He was my baby once more. I scooped is lanky body up and carried him back to his bed. As I gently rubbed his back and his eyes fought to stay awake he kept looking back to make sure I was still there. I think I sat there for 45 minutes wishing and hoping that for the rest of his life whenever he turned around I would be there for him. Cheering him on, reminding him that he's not alone and he doesn't need to be afraid. But, I know I can't be there. Not every time. And as hard as that is for me to accept I know that the hands that hold him are bigger and stronger and more capable than mine will ever be. How many times will I have to hold out my children to the Lord admitting that I can't do it? ....every moment of every day.
But as long as God has given me breath I will love this child of mine and do all I can to be there every moment and protect him as far as I'm able. "Ben... stay two just a little while longer... please..."