The light is changing. The way the sun sits in the sky is different. It’s rising later and setting earlier -- or so it seems.
Fall is approaching, even here in the tropics of Florida. No cold or even what could be considered cool weather yet, but that too cannot be far off. They say the humidity is dropping. I suppose that’s true, but the frizz in my hair doesn’t deem it so.
Mother Nature’s turn of phrase reminds me in a gentle way that Will’s birthday is fast approaching -- two weeks from now, my baby turns five. It doesn’t seem possible that it’s been half-a-decade since he came into this world, so abruptly and quickly. Tiny. Frail yet so strong -- stronger than anyone I’ve ever known.
But then I look at him now. Tall, strong. Walking on his own occasionally -- and with more frequency. Talking. Singing (Oh...the singing. It’s like living in an MGM musical around here.) Eating on his own -- messy. Joyfully messy. Expressing his needs clearly and appropriately. “It’s time for new pants.” “I want to watch Lingo.” “Come play with me.” “It’s time to go home.” (Although that is usually uttered almost immediately upon arriving someplace he doesn’t want to be. We’re still working on the manners thing.)
He looks like a little boy now. Not a baby anymore, as he tells me “I’m a big little guy.” Which is his way of saying that he’s growing up. And he knows it.
The big boy bed is a success. Thank goodness. Only a couple of instances of him ending up off of it somehow -- but always at some horrendous hour -- dark o’clock.
It’s hard for me. This time of year. Memories. Moments. Thoughts. All rushing back. Some muted by time. Some as clear and fresh as they were right after they were opened.
The changing light reminds me of how the sky looked that Monday when I was discharged from the hospital after giving birth. There was a tiny little nip in the air. A cool breeze blew through a cloudless azure blue horizon. I stood at the hospital entrance, after taking the requisite wheelchair ride to the front door, waiting for my husband to bring the car around. Wearing the same maternity jeans that I had on 72 hours prior. The smell of the delivery room still clinging to them. As well as the scent of fear and the unknown.
I am going to work very hard this year not to dwell too much on the past when it comes to Will’s birthday -- but rather to celebrate the present and focus on the future. That’s going to take a lot, as the guilt I carry gets a bit heavier right about now. I must remember to count my blessings instead of assuming the blame.
But he’s fine. He’s wonderful. He’s Will.
And that’s all I could ever truly ask for.