Last night I had Ethan on my lap fresh from his bath. He smelled delicious. Soap and skin and childhood.
While he was sitting there, I told him that he almost didn't make it to earth and Savannah said, "Really? Or are you just making that up?"
Apparently Savannah thinks much of my reality is fiction. (She may be right.)
I said, "Really," and inhaled his damp hair again.
This morning when David kissed me, it was longer than usual, with some slow tenderness thrown in for good measure. He was remembering. How close he came to losing me. How close he came to losing Ethan. How lucky we are. How everyday is a miracle. Oh yeah.
A couple of nights ago, Ethan fell asleep while we were reading. David carried him to bed and Ethan's legs looked as long as tree limbs sticking out from David's arms. When did that happen? His body used to curl. Now it is straight. Straight up. Straight out. All the time, his bones are going and going, his muscles and cells and brains and skin, all going and going.
Won't you stay? Please?
David put him to bed, and while the earth spun around its axis he grew a little more.
Tonight we will build a huge bonfire and dance around it like banshees and tell the moon how happy we are that this boy was born to us. And he will crawl in his sleeping bag and look at the stars until he falls asleep and then he will grow all night long.
Among his birthday gifts this year were two chapter books, a chess set, and a large map of the world.
After he left for school I looked at that pile and winced. Sometimes you can barely get your heart and mind around this thing called motherhood. I am betrayed by myself at every turn. I bought those gifts. As good as packed his bags and stamped his passport, said, "Go! Go! Look! Explore! Learn! The whole wide world is yours!"
What I want to do is lock the doors and lose the keys and deny the visa and ground the flights.
Or at the very least, tuck a note in his socks that says, "Go, then. But please don't go far."
Happy birthday, little ninja.