Sunday, January 23, 2011

Slow down...

Dear Hayden,

Eight years ago today, I finally understood the meaning of love at first sight. The day started off ordinary enough, routine check-up at the doctor then off to work was the plan. Lots of chatter with the doctor, "Are you pre-registered at the hospital yet?" "Soon you'll have to start coming in every week", then "Ummm...5 looks like you'll be having a baby today." And suddenly there you were, my little man, ready to take on the world.

We spent six delicious months together at home. Friday afternoons were movie days for us. Your first show was "Bend it Like Bekham." Maybe you didn't like it because you slept through the whole movie. In the afternoons we would nap together in the big comfy chair in our sunshine-y spot with the dogs at our side. Neither of us had a care in the world. One day you fell asleep nursing and I transferred you quietly to your crib. I put my hand on your chest and felt your breathing and my heart was so filled with love I thought it might burst. There are hours of video of you doing pretty much nothing but it all seemed like such a miracle to me.

Then there was work and day care and then no more day care. Your daddy would come home from work and strap you into the Baby Bjorn and you would walk the dogs together. When you saw something exciting you'd kick your legs and flail your arms with delight. Then suddenly you walked and you talked and you slept with a bat and ball and glove.

We apologized for ending your magical days as an only child but we gave you the lifetime gift of brotherhood. And you embraced the change, running to pop the pacifier back in Trevor's mouth as soon as it fell. You started preschool and didn't look back as your world got bigger than just our little household. Eager to please, friends with everyone you met, "Hi, I'm Hayden, what's your name?"

Then there was a new baby on the way, and we moved Trevor into your room. The first night he climbed into your bed and I found you snuggled together in the morning. And things were just as we always hoped they would be. When Juliette arrived, you showed us true tenderness with your gentle spirit.

Now our days are so and basketball and swimming and school and friends. And here you are today, eight years old, "halfway old enough to drive" as you like to tell me (and I cringe at the thought). You humor me and sit on my lap and let me squeeze you and tell you I want to turn time backwards and put you back in my tummy so I can relive every precious moment that went by too fast. I rub your back to wake you in the morning and feel the shoulders that are no longer a little boy, but edging towards a young man. But thankfully, a young man who isn't too big to hold me hand or let me wrap my arms around you when we're walking together at the mall.

Happy birthday Hey-hey-Hay-de-O. I love you.