In one month my youngest will turn four. I find it so hard to believe this. In some ways I can’t believe that my little guy is getting so big already, but at the same time I can’t believe there was ever a time without this little guy in our lives. Even harder to believe are all the pictures of this little guy, so tiny and struggling in his first six months of life. I can’t believe that this is the same kid we worried about surviving four years ago.
Right now my little guy is sick. He has a cold and a temperature, something that would have scared me to death only three years ago. However, now I am able to hold him in my arms, cuddle him, and enjoy the rare still moments with him. A typical day with him at this age includes lots of jumping, demanding, climbing, getting into things he shouldn’t be into, making concoctions and messes, being adamant that he do things himself, him telling me what’s what, and lots of laughter and smiles. He is a spunky one for sure. Even now, while sick, he still emanates spunkiness. Earlier today he passed out on my lap downstairs, as I carried him up the stairs he groggily looked up at me an asked where we were going, I answered “upstairs”. He blinked, looked around himself, and whispered “wee,” as if flying, then closed his eyes again. Even when sick, you can’t keep this kid’s spirit down.
That spirit is what kept him going those first six months. I can remember being in the NICU with him and him giving me that big smile of his. We have videos of him rolling over and trying to scoot himself into trouble even as he wheezed and struggled to breath at home. I remember him in the hospital the second time around, hooked up to multiple machines, labored breathing, and I still needing to send down for toys to keep him entertained. Within hours of his surgery to remove his cyst, he was sitting up in a bouncy seat, kicking his feet so hard I thought he’d bounce himself over. By the time we left the hospital, he had captured all he nurses’s hearts with his laugh and his smile. Some even came to his room in recovery just to see his smile again and hear his laugh without all the rasping. Once he was fully healthy, he started crawling and was into anything he could reach. Then he started cruising and began climbing before he was walking. From that point on there was no stopping him and no keeping things out of his reach. If my littlest guy sees something he wants, it doesn’t matter how high up you put it, what you put in front of it, or what door or cabinet you lock to keep him away from it, he will find a way to get it. This spunk, which can be so dangerous at times, is also the reason he is alive today, I’m sure of it.
Those days of worry feel so long ago. These days my biggest worries about him are how bad of a mess he made while I was in a different room and will we make it through the day without breaking a bone with the way he plays (stitches, or glue rather, have already happened). He is like a different kid now, though I know he always had that spunk, that spirit, that unbreakable will, from the moment he came out. Lord help anyone who tries to stand in his way because this child is going to do great things and nothing is going to stop him.