I remember how chubby my son’s fingers once were. I remember counting those tiny fingers over and over again as I sat in awe of the perfect little person that I had helped create and bring into this world. I remember how toothless his grin was, and how I worried that he was so late in teething. I remember how short and chubby his legs and arms were as he first crawled and then toddled around the garden. I remember the adorable sound of his gurgles and giggles; his squeals of delight when his Dad blew raspberries on his tummy. And I remember the way he used to be content to sit snuggled in my arms, just looking at me while I stared adoringly at him.
He is a little boy. His hands and feet are bigger and show the signs of riding bikes, playing in the dirt and kung fu fighting with the dog. His arms and legs have lengthened and are now sturdy and strong – able to support him as he leaps across the couch and stretches to reach the sweets on the top shelf. They show the signs of run-ins with paved drives and tarred roads. No longer do I hear gurgles and sighs, but a constant stream of chatter and questions. And he is certainly far too busy exploring (and climbing) his world to want to sit cuddled up with Mom.
Mom and Dad are there for hugs when he is hurt or sad or scared, but most of the time he does pretty well on his own. He wants to run and climb and jump and Mom just slows him down.
He will be a bigger boy. Then he will be a teenager. Until, one day, he will be grown and I will be an old woman – proud of the man that my son has become. He will have his own child with chubby fingers and toothless grins to enjoy and wonder over.
And I will still remember the baby that he once was.