My oldest little guy, A., turns four today. I’m probably experiencing what every mother does on her child’s birthday – disbelief that time has flown so quickly and that my squalling, red-faced, wrinkled raisin of a newborn has metamorphosed into this beautiful boy so full of personality. We’re currently at a stage where the questions never end. Not one to dwell on any subject for long, A. prefers to rotate his favourites, which currently are dinosaurs and giant asteroids, Transformers, and astronauts. The conversations we have are random and delightful.
“Mama, I want to meet Neil and Buzz who went to the moon.”
“Oh, really? I think they live in the United States. They must be getting old by now.”
“Then I want to go to the United States to meet them before they go up in the sky again.”
“I don’t think they’re going back to the moon.”
“No, when they go up in the sky to see God. What will God say to Buzz and Neil?”
Earlier in the day, while playing with his brother in the yard, I overheard the older one admonishing the younger: “You can’t go near the road because you’ll get squished like a pancake… and then we’ll have to buy a new baby!”
Then, a whispered confession while driving in the car yesterday: “Mama, when you give me red peppers to eat, I flip them over and call them ‘canoes.’ And then I eat them just like a llama, because llamas chew sideways. See?”
I never dreamed that a child would bring so much laughter into our home. Multiple times a day, he makes us howl at his jokes and silly antics. He’s a little clown, bouncing from one imaginative idea to the next, whether it’s imitating the lemur we saw at the zoo last week, using a headlamp to ‘test for weasels’ in a dark closet, or playing ‘Gloop’ with a giant blanket over his head. He’s so full of life that I can almost see it bubbling out of him. His joie de vivre is catching.
And to think that I was such a reluctant mother, so resentful toward the unknown creature growing inside me, angry about life’s unexpected twist, fearful of my new responsibility as someone’s parent. Now that I know him, I only feel incredibly honoured and blessed that the job of raising him fell to me. I hope I’m doing a good job.