I have been rather nostalgic lately. There are a couple reasons. Jackson will be turning 4 in three weeks. I have been looking back at his baby photos comparing how he and Alex look as infants. Both of those together have supercharged my mommy emotions. I simply cannot believe how much Jackson has grown. I don’t even remember when his face stopped being so pudgy, round, and baby-ish. Did he just wake up that way one morning? Or did that sweet baby chub slip through my fingers one hour at a time like tiny grains of sand?
My heart melts looking over these old photos. I truly cannot place how he grew. I cannot believe he is nearly 4. That he is this little boy who likes to arrange his toys and then ask me to take photos of them. He is going to be really good at whatever field he chooses one day because he spends 99% of his time debating me and trying to strike up deals. “That’s a good deal mommy.” Which, is debatable! Ha! He is a very passionate person. Whether he is loving on me or angry at me. Passion seeps through his pours. He gives his all to whatever he is feeling. He tells me I am beautiful. The most beautifulest mommy in the world. He loves to sing and dance. Then he likes to switch it up to “shooting guns” and ninja skills. He recently started getting into fashion. He has been picking out awesome shoes and shirts that do not have characters on them.
His fingers are still pudgy, but they are much bigger. His feet are still adorable, but they actually get dirty and stinky. His face is still round with squishy cheeks, but it doesn’t have the look of a baby. It has the look of a little boy.
He loves to help me. If it is cooking, helping with Alexander, picking up things that are not his, shopping, everything. Well, everything except cleaning up his own toys. That he hates with that passion I mentioned. He tears up at ASPCA commercials, sad shows or movies, or anything that evokes a sad emotion. His empathy is boundless.
I look back on him being a baby and I understand those moments a lot more. His personality has always been similar to how it is now. Sometimes he doesn’t like to try new things. It freaks him out. I used to get so frustrated at infant and toddler mommy/me classes. He was so frustrated and I never understood why. That is just him. Change and people he doesn’t know well trying to touch him isn’t his cup of tea. I can now reason with him regarding trying some new things. But looking back, it all makes sense. It just takes him a long time to warm up to certain situations. As I parent him now, I have that voice in my head reminding me of that. I have to give things time with him.
I am sitting in the kitchen with him as I write this. He is watching Octonauts. His mouth is slightly open, eyes are wide, and he occasionally smiles at what they say. He keeps catching me staring at him. He asked me for a snack. He didn’t finish his lunch carrots. We just struck a deal, he has to finish all of them, then he can have a snack. Always a deal to be made.
I know he is only 4 but I already feel the time slipping through my fingers. I fully understand how fast it goes. I think it took birthing Alexander for me to realize this. I am now elbows deep in all things infant again. That phase had faded out a long time ago. I hadn’t noticed one hour, one day, one week, one month at a time. No. It just was business as usual. I was raising a little boy. I am afraid of what I will be feeling 4 years from today. How will 8 year old Jackson be? Even typing that sentence made my heart drop. One day he WILL be 8 years old. 8 years away from that tiny little babe I birthed during Snowmageddon! Terrifying.
Alexander is our last child. I think this fact has made me hyper aware to time racing forward while I try to hang on. I don’t want Alexander to stop being this squishy little babe (he could go ahead and sleep through the night though!) I don’t want Jackson to age another 4 years and be an 8 year old BOY!
I want to hit pause. I want their faces to stay round, soft, creamy, and so squishy. One day I will kiss those cheeks and there will be stubble on them. Stubble. Ok, I have to slow down now. I am getting way ahead of myself.
For now, I will have to keep on kissing those cheeks and staring in wonder at those chubby little fingers. And requesting big passionate hugs from my little passionate guy.