My son is 8. He has been on this Earth for 8 years and 9 1/2 months.
He was our only baby for 3 1/2 years.
I've nursed him and cuddled him all night long. I've changed his icky diapers and wiped up his icky vomit. I've yelled and I've laughed, I've shown dissapointment and pride...mostly pride...and all of it is just the outside, really...all of what I see on a day-to-day basis is just some sort of shadow of what he is on the inside. I see glimpses of his grown-up self all the time. When I really listen, and when I really look. I see this man in there...a man who is sensitive and worries over details. I see a man in there who will hug like there is no tomorrow. I see a man in there who will care deeply about his work, but worry if it is really important enough; is he making a difference for humankind?
I see a boy who sees life in black and white, but knows there is gray, and wishes he saw the gray, but until he does he'll believe in the gray...he'll be a man of great faith, whatever that turns out to be. He'll pray and be thankful. He'll call his sister on a whim. He'll visit his old mom and dad often, and ask us to come to the desert in some faraway land to see the dinosaur he is digging up, or to witness the building of a bridge he's designed...my son will do these things.
Here she is...my 5 year old girl...my baby. The one who nursed so well, I was sorry to end it. the baby who surprised me with all that she knew. The baby who is an old soul inside. The 5 year old who asked me recently, "How do you know if you're in love? What does it feel like?" My daughter is all "inside on the outside". She smiles from her insides, with real purpose and meaning. When she is a woman, she'll be beautiful because she smiles and hugs and touches so often. She'll be beautiful because she says, "I'm so sorry, " and "I just love you," to people she hardly knows. She'll write phone numbers on her hands, because she can't keep a datebook. She'll forget birthdays, but she'll always be around and full of fun and making us laugh till we pee our pants. She may be a roller girl for awhile, and she may frequent topless beaches, but she'll always have a fun innocence about life. Life is about LOVE! Her heart will be near to bursting most of the time...and when her heart is broken, she'll come home and let me help her mend it. I'll cuddle her 30 year old self in my laugh and say "shhh, shhh"
I love my children, not only for who they are right now...but for who they are going to be. I'm already so proud of them. In the quiet of my heart when I am really seeing them while they talk, or interact with others, I hold them and feel so grateful.
Children are the best things in the whole wide world, and not because they are always so easy, but because they teach me to be better. I want to grow up to be like them.