Besides getting ready for three new releases, my boys celebrate their birthdays in February. Usually, it’s a mad rush of chaos with too many presents and too little room left in the house, excitement that rivals Christmas morning, ice cream cakes and birthday candles, migraines at ChuckECheese, and eyes shining with the thrill of life.
I have always believed birthdays are special – for everyone.
Tomorrow my oldest son turns 7 years old.
I wrote a letter to him I published on this blog two years ago on his first day of kindergarten. A road was being turned, and I knew things would change. They did. School forced him to grow up a lot. It also revealed a sharp mind and a quest for knowledge that humbled me. As days flew by in repetitive motions, it became easier to ignore his growth spurts or his startling questions about God and the universe, and his sudden demands for play dates and more social stimulation other than me and his brother.
When I walked him onto the bus today, I kissed him and told him to have the best day ever. I explained he would never be six again – and this day must be cherished, enjoyed, and savored. He skipped off, back into his own world, and I watched him through my tears as I waved from the driveway.
It seems as if a mother’s job in life becomes watching our children leave as more birthdays rack up. I don’t think it will ever get easier. I just think I may get more used to it.
Every evening before his birthday, I watch the video of his birth so I can remember that moment. I tell my children about their birth stories so they can claim them as their own. As a writer, family sagas are the first real stories a child begins to hear and identify with. I embellish and dramatize and tell the truth of each moment, while they watch with glee and pride.
I think more people need to stop in the mad dash to the goal and savor the final or beginning days of something. The first of the month or year. The last day before one turns a year older. The beginning of a new book, or the end of one.
I have a new release that came out February 1st and another one in a week.
I have my first blog tour with a stop at Books-N-Kisses today.
I have writing deadlines, proofing deadlines, and an explosive schedule pulsing with demands.
But right now, today, I am celebrating my son’s last day he is six years old. And that is enough.
Happy Birthday, my sweet boy. Thank you for changing my life for the better.