Monday, April 6, 2009

Happy Birthday little son


Eli. Dude, it is your birthday. You have made it through two whole years of life. I would congratulate you, but I am actually going to reserve some of the credit for your survival for myself. The other day we were discussing with friends the legitimate reasons-and there are many-why doctors and nurses feel the need to interrogate parents at the urgent care clinic about why they wait to bring their "hurt" children in. I commented that we would be there 3 times a day if I never waited. Enough said about that. I love you E.

I never have been a sappy parent. But your dad went to Louisville for a conference last week so we had several days to spend some quality time together. On the last night before he came home, I walked into your room to check on you-I love doing that because you are so sweet and adorable when you are asleep and I can hold you and cuddle you and pretend that you are being affectionate back...anyway. I tickled your arm for a minute, and waited for you to hold your arm out and implicitly ask for more in your sleep. I love that. Tears started falling down my cheeks, and I realized that you are not a baby, but a boy. And soon (relatively) you will be a man. And soon someone else will love you as much or more as I do. And soon you won't need me for every single little thing, like getting you a cup or milk or turning on Mickmey, cleaning ketchup out of your hair, or following you around the house aimlessly with no other purpose than to let you drag me by the pointer finger.

And I approached sadness...don't get me wrong: I am not bemoaning the fact that you are growing up, or stating the obvious that you "are getting so big!" or wishing for you to be a baby, no no no. I just took a small moment to pause and be grateful for this very short window of time I have to be the absolute, most important, numero uno person in your life. Because it won't last, I know that, and really, I don't want it to. Someday, I want someone else to love you like I love your dad, take care of you the way we take care of each other and I want you to recognize us as those who taught you not only how to do that through our example as parents, but loved you enough to want the same for you. I recognized that my role as your mother is to, first, give you life, second, take care of your basic needs, third, love you unconditionally, and fourth, release you so that you can do the same. It was basic and profound, happy and sad, humbling and exhilarating to realize how important and how fleeting my most demanding responsibilities to you really are.

I adore you Eli. I think you are the coolest and most wonderful boy around. You drive me crazy and test me in more ways than I could have possibly imagined everyday. You teach me about the important things in life and I really hope that I am doing the same for you. Happy happy birthday baby boy-here's to one more year without a "necessary" trip to Urgent Care.

10 comments:

lauren said...

what a beautiful post. you have really captured, so elegantly and astutely, this moment in your life. and i do believe that in the years to come it will be something you can read again and look back on with fondness.

that being said, holy balls your baby is two! (sorry, there just wasn't a better way to put it in the moment.) i remember when he was in your belly (and barely in there at that) and you and adam were looking at dental schools. when you still lived here. is the time really going by that fast?

but back to seriousness for a sec, thanks for posting this, because it makes me less scared and more excited to be a mom myself.

Chelsea said...

Mean customers made me cry a few times at Pizza Factory, but your sweetness towards Big E brought tears to my eyes here at L&T! You are such a fun, loving, and mostly cool mom that I hope to be half of someday soon (maybe that's why this post made me emotional, I'm just so excited!) I love that little boy too-happy birthday E!

Lisa said...

Very sweet Ashley, I won't tell anybody.

And nice "artsy blog photos" Adam!!! I especially love that Ashley spent 10 mins. yelling at Eli to get out of the meat chest and apparently you thought it best to take a picture. Nice.

BTW Jack just took his splint off for the 7th time, and I can't put it back on until Pat comes home for lunch so I won't be writing any sappy blog posts today.

Michelle Tolboe said...

AWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So cute. Funny, yesterday I was folding laundry and you popped into my head and I thought, hmm, it seems like Eli's birthday is pretty soon. I should email Ash and ask her. Weird!

Happy Birthday E!!! And what a cute post.

Elisa said...

I thought his birthday was tomorrow. Sorry! I loved your post! I need to cherish my littles more at the stages they are in. Thanks for helping me remember how special this time is! Happy birthday Eli! We love and miss you!

Josh and Lauren Chamberlin said...

I don't know what else to say, but that was beautiful Ashley. It brought tears to my eyes. Happy Birthday Eli!

Melissa said...

That was so cute. You made me laugh and cry. Looks like he had a fun party! Yea for two year olds.

Julia & Mike said...

I can't believe he is two already!

Alisa said...

I just LOVED that. I cant believe he is two. It is crazy that it seems like yesterday we were holding our babies and now we have toddlers...

Susan said...

Happy birthday big boy! I remember when you told me you were trying to get pregnant and I gave you a pregnancy test. lol...time really does fly. And now 2 years later our babies are so big and their own little beings. I love your description of your job as a mother, you are definitely a writer ash. I love you guys and miss you all! Wish we lived close by.