Wednesday, February 27, 2013

"I Don't Love You Mummy!"

He pushes his plate across the table in his usual 3 year old defiant style.  His face crumples and he yells, "Not a bagel!  I didn't want a BAAGELLLL!"

"Yes you did!  You just said you wanted a bagel!"  I was arguing logic with a tired and cranky 3 year old.  It was more than ridiculous. I was beyond exasperated after listening to him cry for an hour, going the whole live long day with him clinging to me like a fifth appendage and then finding half a container of baby powder complete with (okay adorable) footprints all over his bedroom after giving him a time out for kicking his older brother in the eye for absolutely no good reason.

"I'm not making you anything else Finley.  I'm tired of making you a million meals a day and you not eating any of them..." my voice rose into 'the voice'.  The voice that doesn't make it's appearance too often though too often in my opinion when my husband's been away for over a week.  It's normal right?  It's a deeper, uglier and yellier voice.  A voice that takes even me by surprise when I hear it.  A voice I hear then quickly realize it's time for me to step away from the situation.  "...SO EAT YOUR BAGEL OR YOU CAN GO UP TO BED RIGHT NOW!!!"

Of-course this just made the situation even worse, as it always does. I hated that ugly mean Mummy that I just became.  Especially when I heard the following words cried out by my 3 year old, "I don't love you Mummy!  I want Daddy!  I waaant Daaaddy!!!"  Ooof.  That stung.  Worse than an 'I don't like you'. Even possibly worse than an 'I hate you.'  He's three and he already knows how to hit where it hurts.  The tail of my baby Scorpion strikes again.

I leave the room picking up toys and random items of clothing that have strewn about throughout the day and wonder with angst if any other Mom's have this ugly mean Mom voice that makes their child not love them.

I return to the kitchen to find him with the bagel half consumed in front of him.  He finishes it up like our clash never even happened and walks toward me chewing the remaining mouthful of bagel with this arms raised for me to pick him up (for the 1000th time that day).  I scoop him up gratefully this time and he wraps all limbs about me like a baby monkey.  I bury my face in the deliciousness of the crook of his neck and speak softly into it,  "I'm sorry buddy.  I'm sorry I yelled at you."

His arms tighten around my neck and he says nothing.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Once Upon A Time

We piled onto our big king sized bed.

Me full of annoyance and exhaustion and my sons' full of energy.

The evening was abundant with the typical push-pull of parenthood.

Brush your teeth.  Get your jammies on.  Stop bugging your brother.  Put your pj's on.  Don't suck on the brush...BRUSH your teeth.  Leave your brother alone.  Okay stop!  Both of you!  Brush your teeth!  Where's your pajama top?  Where are your pj bottoms?!  What is going on with you guys?!

Nothing really out of the ordinary but enough disobedience and non-listening that I had told them no Wild Kratts! 

And then.

No Books.

Punishment indeed.

So they climbed into our bed.  The bed I share with my husband and the bed with which we seemed to have lately developed a routine of falling asleep in when he's away.

Lights were clicked off and darkness surrounded us.

"Do you want me to tell you a story?"

"Yes, yes!!!"

I had no idea what story I was going to tell them however.  But when I opened my mouth it must have been the fact that I missed their Dad that this story sprang to mind...

"Once upon a time there were two best friends who were really hungry so they decided to check out this new restaurant..."  ---

"Who were they?  What are their names?"  asks Adrian

I decided to go with the facts, "Erin and January were their names. -- When they got out of the car to go into the restaurant January tripped and fell on her face.  She broke her sandal ----"

"Why do you break your sandal?!  I want Aunt Erin to break her sandal!"

"Because that's not how the story goes bud.  Aunt Erin helped me up though."  In truth she actually didn't.  I grabbed a hold of a metal bar that happened to be in front of me to assist me up from my terribly ungraceful fall.

"But I don't want you to fall!!!!"

I tried very difficultly to hold my patience.  This was not how I envisioned my fairy tale story to go...

"Bud.  Just relax and listen to the rest of the story ok?  So.  Mummy - I mean January falls and breaks her sandal.  They walk into the restaurant and up walks a boy who January thinks is the most handsome boy in the whole world.  And he thinks she is the most beautiful girl he has ever seen but she doesn't know this.  In fact, for him it is love at first site ---"

"Who's him? Who's him??"

"His name is John.  January was so embarrassed and thought he was very cute that she couldn't even talk to him.  But then 6 months later she got a job at the same restaurant.  She wondered if John worked there still but she didn't see him for weeks.  Then one day someone tapped her on the shoulder..."  I tapped Adrian on the shoulder..."And held out his hand to introduce himself, "Hi, I'm John."  January knew that his name was John and when he saw her face he remembered her too.  They became friends and then about 3 months later they started dating ---"

"What's dating?"

"Dating is when two people  who really like each other get to know each other.  They go to the movies and out to restaurants.  They walk on beaches and in parks. They do lots of fun things together. January and John moved in together.  Many years later he asked her to marry him around Valentine's Day on the floor of their tiny apartment.  She said yes of-course.  About a year and a half later they had the most beautiful wedding.  Do you know what a wedding is?"

"What's a wedding?"

"It's when two people promise to love each other no matter what.  Then they have a big party with all of their favourite people.  They dance and talk and eat and drink wine ---"

"Wine?  Why they drink wine?"  This is my 3 year old speaking up who has been in the crook of my arm, quiet as a mouse since the beginning.

"That's just what adults do sometimes."

Adrian speaks up now, "I don't drink wine!"

"No but you're not an adult.  Kids drink juice or water or pop."

"Pop?!"  Weddings are clearly looking mighty fun to my boys right about now.

"So January and John got married and about a year and a half after that they had a beautiful baby boy that they named Adrian --- "

"Yes!  I came first!"  Adrian pumps his fist in the air like it was some kind of race that he won or something...

Which...technically speaking I suppose it was.

"And then 21 months later they had another beautiful boy that they named Finley."

"Mummy?  Is that a true story?"

"Every bit of it baby doll."  I hold his face in my hand in the grey evening light until he laid his head on my belly as my little Fin remained half asleep in the crook of my arm.

They quickly fell into slumber.


The next evening:

"Mummy...when I put my head on your tummy last night I could hear your heart.  It went like this, "Ba-bump."

"You know what that was don't you?  That was my heart saying, 'I love you.'"

Hummy No Longer

"Mummy I'm hungry."  Stated/whined my 3 year old.

"You're what buddy?"  I was sure I didn't hear him right.

"I'm hungry Mummy."  Clearly said.  The 'ngry' said with perfect pronunciation.  It was 'hummy' no longer, the adorable quirky way he had of saying 'hungry'.

'Hummy' sadly gone the wayside for the not as cute way of saying it properly.

To join the toddler word rubble along with 'nee-neck' (kleenex), ' wawee' (water), 'Aiden' (Adrian), 'loveee' (I love you).

I buckled him into his car seat, pressed my warm cheek briefly against his cool one, kissed his nose and asked him one more time,  "Are you hummy buddy?"

"Yeah.  I'm hungry.  Cheerios."

Yet another piece of toddlerhood falling away into the depths of my memory that stores these bittersweet moments as my heart it seemed audibly expelled a wistful sigh.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A Trip to Remember: A Mother and Daughter's Perspectives

A Daughter's Perspective

When you get a text from your Mother asking if you'd like to go on a trip, somewhere hot no less, not to mention her treat what other answer do you have than a resounding HELL YES.

Am I right?

The last time we spent 4 consecutive days together just the two of us without any obligations, school, job etc was, as my Mum pointed out, probably the first year of my life.  So this was definitely going to be a unique experience.  I was curious.  And yes maybe a tad bit nervous about how this would all go down.

Turns out pretty darn amazing.

Except for the drive to the airport.  Which involved:  Not having a clue where we were going while driving on the highway in the dark and amongst aggressive Toronto drivers and blowing snow.  This could have gone the way of really, really bad when I realized I spoke while the GPS was speaking and my Mother (not so) subtly hinted not to speak.  Anymore.  At least when the GPS was talking.

I got the hint.

I realized something then.  I realized a lot of things on the trip actually.

1.  When travelling with your Mother you will recognize how much you are becoming her.  Such as driving skills.  My Mother and I are both good drivers.  We just aren't very good when we have no idea where we're going in bad weather and darkness.  Now I know what my husband goes through when I'm driving in situations such as these.  Which is probably why I don't drive when we're going somewhere together.

2.  When travelling with your Mother you don't have to worry about filling silences.  It's very comfortable.  You read, you nap, you walk, you talk.  It's just....nice.  Peaceful.

3.  Even though you are a 35 year old woman, wife and mother, that will not stop your own Mum from taking care of you.  From running your shower water to make sure it's warm enough when you get in.  To picking up your towels.  To bringing you drinks poolside and making sure you've had enough to eat.  The simple fact is: A Mother never stops being a Mother.

4.  She will make one of your bucket list dreams come true.  When you tell her you've always wanted to swim with dolphins?  She will make that happen.  And join you.  Even though she had no interest in doing that in the first place.  And it will be one of the coolest experiences you've had...and you shared that with your Mom.  That's pretty special.

5.  You will learn your Mother has a major sweet tooth.  She must have her tea and cookies every night before bed.  She will encourage you to break hotel rules to make sure this happens even though there is no food allowed in the rooms.  She will abscond cookies from the buffet and hide them in napkins and Styrofoam cups.  She will sneak them into your bag and the next day you will think that's sand at the bottom of it...but oh no!  Those...are cookie crumbs.

6.  You will laugh at the same things and when you will realize you have the same laugh.

7.  She will make you feel beautiful by always telling you so and constantly taking your picture.

8.  Along with making you feel beautiful, your Mother will also make you feel like you are basically the most awesome person in the world.  Best Mother, Best Wife, Best Daughter.  Turns out...Great Mother's are really good for the ego.

9.  She will tell you a story over a game of cribbage about when she was hospitalized for a really bizarre illness when you were just a baby and your Dad had to take care of you for the first time alone.  When he took you to the hospital to visit her, your Dad forgot the diapers so they had to steal one from the maternity ward and how they had a good laugh about it.  She will tell you how hard it was to be away from you and you will be reminded again how much your Mother loves you and still thinks of you as her baby girl even though you are now a grown woman, wife and Mother yourself.

10.  You will see your Mum as the same person but in a different light. You will see a lot of yourself in your Mother and realize that that! is a really wonderful thing.

A Mother's Perspective

I texted my daughter in a moment of weakness that we should take a vacation somewhere warm.  I had been working a lot, was in need of a rest and sunshine and decided to take the one person I’m the most comfortable with and love more than words can say….my daughter.  I sort of thought she’d say yes.  I also saw this as an opportunity to plant the seed that when I’m older and she picks out my retirement home it should be a good one with great food.  I also learned some things about my daughter .
1.      She can pretend to be calm when she’s actually chewing a hole through her cheek from nervousness while driving in a storm, in the dark, in uncharted territory.  It’s one of the scariest places I know which is Toronto Pearson Airport. 

2.      My daughter and I laugh at the same things and she has a beautiful infectious laugh plus she is seriously brilliant and witty…a killer combination for a travel companion.

3.     Is it the chicken or the egg syndrome here?  Did I pick up her clothes and towels before she had a chance to do it or is she still like that?  When she was a teenager I would find multiple wet towels on her bedroom floor so I guess I’ll never know.   I found I was still concerned about her well being too.  It was hot in Jamaica and I was constantly bringing her beverages to stay hydrated which resulted in me having a drink too which meant frequent trips to the washroom.  She still has the bladder of a camel. 

4.     A few years ago my daughter told me one of her bucket list items was to swim with dolphins and I remember thinking that I would help her accomplish that.  I didn’t know when or where but it kind of landed in our lap and there was no way it was getting away.  It was a complete blast and something I would never have done on my own.

5.      I rarely sit still for more than a few minutes which comes in handy when you’re being a mother hen for the first time in years and it also highlighted the fact that my daughter is one of the most calm and relaxed people I know.  Another great travel companion attribute along with her giggling willingness to commit a bit of larceny by smuggling cookies out of the restaurant. 

6.      When you’re alone with your daughter and there are no interruptions or evidence of husband and children you will start calling her Baby Girl again and when it falls out of your mouth the first time you’re gobsmacked that you just did that.  The second, fifth and tenth time it comes easy. 

7.      If you’re lucky you will learn that she is a health food freak and your grandchildren are being fed good food that is all homemade.  If you listen you will find out she adores her husband and believes him to be one of the most handsome men she knows and her children are very blessed to have him for a father….in fact he is and they are. 

8.      I think for my daughter our trip was one of those moments in everyone’s life when they suddenly see their parents aging.  You know how it is…you go along for years and your parents never age and then one day you see a new wrinkle or their eyesight isn’t as good as yours or their hearing is less than it was.  What you don’t see is the aching hands and shoulder and the myriad of worries that come with aging.  I believe she had a few moments of enlightenment. 

9.     You wonder how you raised such a beautiful woman who has confidently become her own person with surprisingly few quirks. Maybe I should give her some of mine!  We do share some similarities in many areas though, like the laugh, the love of reading, the knowledge and comfort of at least one other person on this planet who loves you as much as you love them and with whom you share a long history.

10.  You will long for retirement so you can spend more time with her and her family because really, isn’t that what‘s most important in our walk through this life?   You will have shared something that has created memories that only the two of you can share and that will come in handy when I’m in the beautiful retirement home with great food that she has so lovingly selected for me.

When I was really her Baby Girl 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Welcome Home

In a flurry of stress I clean and cook and scrub and bake.  Wash dishes and floors, wipe down bathrooms and tidy rooms while asking myself in a frustrated voice 'Why?!  Why?!' I'm leaving in 24 hours for warmth and sun and relaxation!  Why am I doing this?!

I stick post it notes up for my husband on the fridge.  I fret and wonder if things are going to be done right.  Right meaning my way.  Right meaning not my husband's way.

Even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with my husband's way.

At half past dark thirty I awake before the alarm.  I fix my eldest's snack and write a little note, "See you in 4 sleeps.  Be good for Dad.  I love you!!!"

I check my post-it's to make sure all is written down and taken care of between sips of coffee.  I refrain from kissing them good-bye while they sleep.  And then I do anyway.

Over the next 4 days I enjoy hot sun, rest, relaxation by a pool and beach side.  I try to remember what it's like to be on call 24-7, to be at a constant barrage of requests, demands and whining.

Yet I forget.

How quickly one gets used to such luxuries.

I miss my boys, my husband like crazy.  I try not to think of them too much.  Especially at night.  The pangs in my heart are physical when I recall their voices, their soft skin, their dimpled smiles and blue eyes, their snuggles and smell.

And yet I am having a wonderful time.  It's quite blissful even.

I wonder how my husband is handling them, what he's making for Adrian's snacks and for meals.  If he took them to Chuck E Cheese as he promised.  I know he did and I try not to be grateful that it was him and not me.  But I am.  He would have more fun than I would, I am sure of it.

I wonder what the house looks like and yet I don't care.  Because it really doesn't matter.


Yet my husband?  He knows me.

He picks me up with a great big kiss and hug.  He's so, SO happy to see me and does it ever feel amazing to be missed.

My boys greet me with quiet smiles as I clamber over the seats and kiss them exclaiming how much I missed them.  Finley begins his chatter.  He asks about the beach and when can he go and where's Gaga and tells me about the big mouse and how he didn't dance with him.

Adrian remains quiet.  "He just woke up." John explains.  My biggest boy's wide blue eyes watch me and my heart pangs with the distance I feel from him.

How is it that they've grown in 4 days?

I feed them crackers and chocolate from my purse because they're hungry and that's all we have in the car on the very long, very treacherous ride home.  A blizzard it seems of-course.  Finley continues his chatter and inquiries and Adrian says the occasional sentence here and there.

We arrive home and...was it ever nice to be home.  I now know a fraction of the relief of what my husband feels like when arriving home after work travels.

"Come here you guys!  Now I can really say hello and give you big hugs and kisses!"  Adrian runs at me full force and I scoop up all 50 lbs of him, his long legs wrap around me as I kiss his cool, soft cheeks a hundred times over.  This.  This is what he needed.  It's what I needed. "I missed you like crazy Aidykins." Riley whines and leans against my legs.

The floors shine, the kitchen is spotless.  There is nary a toy to be seen.

My husband.  He's a good one.


I awake to the sound of feet on stairs and the smell of coffee.  My husband sets down something on the nightstand beside me.

I open up one eye as he kisses me good morning.

Fresh coffee and grapefruit.

He leaves the room and I hear the sound of my sons' playing.

My family.  It's a wonderful one.  I close my eyes and count my blessings.

It's great to be missed.

It's even be home.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

You Smell Them

Spotting the large mass of clothes in a pile between the bedroom wall and the dresser in my five year old son's room I sighed in exasperation and began to rummage through it all disgruntled and frowny on a Sunday night.

The boys had picked out 5 or 100 books each to read and were sitting patiently on the bed waiting for bed time stories.  My husband was laid up in our bed across the hall in the dark because...well because he had never felt so tired in his entire life and every single bone and muscle in his body was aching and he could barely move and 'Ohmygod, ohmygod, I'm in so much pain" was groaned and moaned over and over and over...and over again to the point where I simply tuned him out with a roll of my eyes and went about business as usual.  As all good and loving wives do. 

I sighed and began throwing dirty clothes out his door into the hallway and scraping unknown food stains off of his school uniform. "Adrian really.  It's great that your clothes aren't all over your bedroom floor but maybe we can start working on learning to fold and putting away the clean clothes. How am I supposed to know what's clean and what's dirty in here?"

"You smell them."

That's when I heard guffawing from dear husbandinsomuchpainhecouldbarelytalk across the hall.


Children do see and hear all.  


Friday, February 8, 2013

Mind Babble

I found out the other day it's a very dangerous thing for me to forget my earphones when I head to the gym.  For one thing the motivation factor flies out the window because let's face it...the music at the gym is hardly above a whisper.  There is zero motivation in quiet music no matter what bass factor is happening.  What also happens, specifically when I do cardio, is that my mind tends to go overboard - more than usual...random thoughts zing at me at a furious rate.  I want to zone out and 'ommm', you know, get into a mindless groove while running or pedaling but I found out years ago that I'm not great at meditating.  I'm not even good at it.

So there I found myself on the bike - not the lazy recumbent one but the ones that actually gives you a cardio work out even if you're only half into it.  I could hear the spinning instructor on the floor down below calling out with intensity.  The voice was blurry but I could definitely sense the urgency in his voice.  They must have their butts up off their seats now, I thought to myself.  And then this is how my mind went from there....

I wish I did spinning.  It looks like an awesome work out.  Everyone's always shiny with sweat when I walk by.  But that spinning instructor guy kind of sounds like a male version of Jillian Michaels and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do so well with a trainer like that.  She scares me.  Although this season you really do see a softer side to her.  I like Dani.  I hope she wins.  I really should do a spin class.  Except it seems they're all regulars that go.  And I'd probably be that girl that 'stole' someone's bike unknowingly and I'd feel all self concious about it the whole time thinking I'm getting daggers shot at me and my whole 'spinning experience' would be tainted.  I'd  feel like the new girl at high school entering the cafeteria for the first time and having no idea where to sit because everyone knows that there are certain tables reserved for every clique.  Man.  Why am I so insecure?!  I'm 35 years old.  I am a woman!  High school was not that fun. I wonder if I ever came across as an insecure person?  We all have our perceptions of people but we're probably seen differently by others than what we see in our own minds about ourselves.  It really sucked switching high schools halfway through.  I'll never do that to my boys.  Then again it really does give you character and sets you out of your comfort zone forcing you to come out of your shell if you're in one, that is.  It really does suck though. But I wouldn't have met my best friend in the whole wide world if I didn't switch high school's.  I miss her.  I hope my boys are good teens.  Bah - don't even go there right now.  I'm really going to miss them next week.  I really need music...this is terrible.  Whatever happened to my City of Angels CD?   I've lost a lot of material crap in my life.  All my favourite things it seems.  What happened to my favourite grey shirt....I think about that stupid shirt way too much.  It completely just up and disappeared one day.  One day I was wearing day...poof!  Gone.  I'm starving.  What should I make for dinner tonight?  Hmm.  I should keep it light and no wine tonight.  I have to fit into my bikini in a week for Jamaica.  Yum...jerk chicken.  I can't wait.  Four days of bliss doing whatever I wish.  It'll be nice to spend time with my Mum.  I miss her too.  I hope John has fun with the boys.  I probably should write him a list of what to do.  He has to make snacks for Adrian everyday. Healthy snacks.  And make sure his class gets their Valentine's on Thursday.  So cute...I remember well celebrating Valentine's Day as a little girl at school with our little homemade pouches hanging beside our desks gathering sweet cards from classmates.  Aw. I wonder if the resort will have a fun theme night on Valentine's Day. My Mum's my date.  That's funny.  I should ask Nicole about that spinning class.  She seems to go to a lot.  She would totally know if I was sitting on someone else's bike.  I'll send her a facebook message. I really, really, really wish I had my earphones.  Regis and Michael have good guests on today.  I LOVE Melissa McCarthy.  Bridesmaids was hilarious.  She seems so funny and down to earth.  I wonder if her show really told her she wasn't allowed to lose weight because of her contract.  That's really crappy, denying someone wanting to get healthy. My butt is going numb.  How do I expect to do a whole 45 minutes of a spinning class when my butt's numb after 13 minutes?  My other parts aren't feeling so great either.  This can't be good.  I wonder if anyone peered into my mind right now what they would think.  I think I probably seem a bit manic?  I'm not manic.  I'm sure everyone's mind thinks this way. I should blog about this.  

Please tell me I'm not alone in my mind babble.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Arriving at Five (with a sigh in my heart)

Mere hours old.
The other night after I put you and your brother to bed I lay in the dark of the winter night in the bed I share with your father. The bed seemed far too big for little old me because your Dad was away.  I thought about your birthday party, running over the details in my mind to make sure I had everything on the checklist.  I've ordered your cake - just as you requested.  Spider-Man.  The venue, check.  RSVP's, check.  Then quite all of a sudden my mind rewound to five years ago.  I kept turning it over and over and over in my mind the fact that you're going to be five on Sunday.  Superbowl Sunday.  Five years ago you were born on Superbowl Sunday. I wanted to giggle at the memory of your father fixing the television in the delivery room so that he wouldn't miss The Game while I laboured on and on and on...and on with you little love of mine.  I wanted to laugh and roll my eyes (because really?!!!) and bask in the memory but instead tears fell down my face.

What was this?  What was happening to me?!  I've always inwardly shook my head at people that have cried over their children getting older while I outwardly empathized.  What is there to cry about?  It's a celebration!  A time to celebrate another wonderful year of new stages, new lessons, new growth. But there I was.  Crying, feeling ridiculous and somehow not able to come to terms about the mere fact that you're simply going to be one year older.

My Mother always told me that the first five years in a child's life are the most important.  Important for what reason, I'm not sure.  Perhaps the first five years of a person's life can shape them into the adult they will one day too soon become.  A good indication of the person they will be, their values and morals. That sentence that my Mother told me years and years ago has stayed with me.  And now here you are.  You've arrived at five. I'm finding it very difficult to wrap my head around it and wondering if I've done a good enough job and have done right by you so far.  I believe I have. I hope.

These past five years with you in my life, Adrian, as one third of my heart and soul keeper have been the most wonderful, the most challenging and the most life changing five years of my life.  You made me such a huge part of who I am today.

You made me a Mother and a better person.

You continue to do that.

You are five but you still hold my hand.  You even gave my hand three squeezes on the walk to school the other day which just about made my heart explode out of my chest.  One squeeze for every word...

I. (squeeze)  Love. (squeeze) You. (squeeze)

I taught you that on one of our first walks to school.  And you remembered.

You are five but you still want me and only me to lay my head down next to yours at night and tickle your back until you fall asleep.

You are five but you still climb into our bed almost every night and lay as close to me as possible.

You are five but you still have that little lisp when you say your 's's.  I can't get enough of the way you say 'sassafras' or 'suffering succotash.'  The cuteness is almost too much to bear.

You are five but you still love to sit on my lap whenever possible even though my legs almost immediately fall asleep under all of 50 pounds of you.

You are five but you let me give you as many kisses as I wish when I drop you off at school.  Okay so you might squirm a little with protest but you're smiling when you do. And you may not always respond with an 'I love you too' after I tell you as much.  But I know you love me.  I know you do.  Even on those days that seem so far in the future but which will only come too quickly, when you might think or say or yell otherwise about or to me...just know that I know, you love me.

Yes.  Even then.

And I, you.  No matter what.  No. Matter. What.

Always, always know that sweet boy.

I find myself lately during these moments wondering if the next time will come.  You're not a baby, nor a toddler, nor a pre-schooler.  You are only getting older.  These heart tender moments that I at times take for granted will someday come to an end.  But I'll tell you something...something I often tell you and with which you smile quietly will always be my baby.  Even at 55 you'll be my baby and that's a fact.

The few days leading up to your fifth I felt as though I was grasping at the last bit of your four year old self and it just seemed to be slipping by too fast.  I keep thinking if these five years passed by this quickly and time only seems to accelerate as we age...well 15, 20, 25, 30 will be right here before I know it.

Childhood is a beautiful and delicate time.  Like a handful of glitter thrown in the air.  It feels like it's everywhere and will be around drives you a bit crazy and you may wish it away.  But you can't help but admire it at the same time. Sparkles abound and catch light  in every corner and reflect off of every surface.  It seems as though you cannot escape it.  But even that last piece of glitter floats away eventually.  I suppose that's how I feel right now...I need to revel in the shiny beatific beauty of your childhood because  too soon I feel like I might look back and wonder where it all went...hoping with a desperate heart that I didn't miss a thing.

Sweet boy of mine, today you are five.  You have gone from a chunkalicious high spirited newborn that cried torrential tears when you were upset and giggled and smiled so amazingly when you were happy that it seemed sun beams shot out of your dimples and beautiful blue eyes.  You quickly turned into a toddler that exhausted  and entertained me beyond any kind of normal.  And then into a smart as a whip pre-schooler who had raging tantrums and still tore around like a miniature tornado with incomparable energy.  You are five now.  You have a much more contained energy though still a ton of it along with a mind that doesn't stop and a mouth that enjoys to mock mine.  Your tantrums are few and far between now and even then a mere whisper of what they used to be.  You love to learn and read.  You are writing your own name and printing words out now and you love to do so.  You are beginning to read words.  And to the humourous and wondrous chagrin of your father and I when we spell out words while conversing, you now can (sometimes) figure out what we're saying.  You are a lover of things strange and unusual. It seems at times you  fear nothing...though now you are showing a more vulnerable side that captures my heart even more if that is even possible. You are a chocoholic and a carboholic but you enjoy most foods.  Except you are a major disliker of crispy bacon, olives and eggplant.  You love Superheroes especially Spider-Man, playing Beyblades, conjuring magic, playing videos games on your DS and yes you even enjoy playing with your little brother (most of the time) make each other laugh more than anyone else and I take such delight in hearing you together.  You have an incredible imagination even though your favourite sentence lately is "I'm bored". You are coming to realize 'bored' is not an option in our house so you're quick to move on and find something to do.  You love sports and are already amazingly athletic.  You are a lover of animals and all things living.  You are very smart with a great sense of humour and a wonderful quirky way about you. You are independent.  You are incredibly social.  Your circle of friends rival your father's and mine. I hope you keep a lot of these friends, for childhood friends are unlike any you'll have after.  You're cranky when you're hungry and moody when you're tired.  And when you are both you're next to impossible.  Then again who isn't?  But when you laugh and smile I still still those beautiful rays of light shine from your eyes just like when you were a four month old babe. And oh how can anyone resist those dimples?!

Can your father and I tell you how proud we are of you?  So proud Adrian.  So very, very proud.

Today I took your face in my hands, squishing your still soft and chubbalicious cheeks gently in them, your full lips pouted outwardly as they had no other place to go.  I kissed them and I asked you jokingly, "Do you even know how much I love you? Do. You. Even. Know???"  I do this often, with playful aggression at random times.  This usually occurs while passing through a room and seeing you there.  My love for you suddenly seizes me fiercely by the heart and squeezes so hard I feel short of breath that there really is no other choice than to do this to you. It sounds kind of crazy I know.  But you'll come to love that about me someday.  Maybe you already do. You always answer my silly question with a huge smile, "No!" And it's not because I don't show you how much I adore you.  There is no possible way I could be any more loving or not tell you enough because I tell you at least half a dozen times a day.  But the truth is you really don't know how much I love you.  For the love a parent has for their child reaches eternity and beyond and back again a million, trillion, bajillion times over.  (it's a scientific fact you know)  It resides in the deepest depths of the heart and in corners of the soul you never even knew existed before your little bundle of preciousness arrived.  Someday you will know how much I love you.  Someday.  When you have a child yourself. But not until then.  (don't rush it)

So there you go angel face.  If you've understood from this letter even the tiniest speck of love that lives in my heart for you that is still enormous.

Happy Fifth Birthday Aidykins.

(three squeezes from my hand to yours)

You and the early months.

In your happy place.  On the beach.  xo