It's funny, as he gets older, my determination to stay away from mushy, embarrassing sentiment wavers more and more. He's no longer a baby or a toddler but a KID, and yet when composing this entry in my head, my first impulse is to fill is chock full of pet names and flowery goopy declarations of love and pride. "Mo-oo-oom," I can already hear him saying...but when? Two more years? Longer than that? Less?
We spent so much time this year focused on the future. Worrying about it, planning for it. Determined to prepare him for the next step, the next year, the next experience. We became Mama and Papa Bear, growling at anyone who dared question the potential of our cub, demanding that the forest clear a safer path for him...while also tearing our fur out because holy crap, this is hard.
And yet, oh, this boy. He is still my heart. He is still so smart and adorable and funny. He is such a kind, loving big brother and a kind, loving person. He surprises me every day, every hour, sometimes, with the things he says and thinks and can suddenly DO, just like that, and I am awed to be tasked with a child with this much potential.
"Are you happy?" he asks, whenever I look upset or worried. "Are you happy, Mommy?"
Yes, Noah, my love. Yes, I am. I am so happy.
Happy birthday, baby.