A certain terribly handsome boy is four years old today.
I love birthdays. I get excited for my own birthday every year, which I really should get over, but I still do, ever since I was a kid.
I'm especially excited for my kids' birthdays, and exponentially excited for Christian's birthday. They are kind of like my birthdays, too. And each birthday Christian gets is a bonus, in my opinion, which makes them extra special.
We're really lucky in that we only had eleven months after the day he was born to enjoy the old Christian. They were eleven beautiful months but the gift is in the fact that we didn't fully get the opportunity to know and love the little boy Christian was to become. While it's sad, it's also a gift because we know and love this Christian and I can't imagine him any other way. This is who he is and it's easier to accept him as the four year old he will be tomorrow instead of the four year old he would have been.
I can't imagine him any other way, because I won't. It will hurt my heart a little. I don't get sad watching other four year olds run and play or hearing about what other four year olds are getting for their birthday. I'm just so far removed from the life of a typical four year old that the protective defense mechanisms go up, I filter, I emotionally check out, and we keep it moving.
But sometimes those "what ifs" find a way in. Hand in hand with grief, they sneak in through the cracks you didn't know were there.
I was looking at ideas in the party section at Walmart for Christian's party on Sunday. The theme will be dinosaurs. He has a hard, bumpy, blue dinosaur, you've probably seen in pictures on the blog, that he grabs for and seems to really like, so it was decided his theme would be dinosaurs. That's a four year old type of thing, right? Anyway, I was walking through the party section looking for dinosaurs and saw all the characters...Cars, Toy Story, Batman...
And that's when it sneaks in. I wonder what would he be like? Which character would he like? Would he be obsessed with Cars? Or would he like the dinosaurs we've decided he should like?
Just like that it's time to shut it off. You are not aloud in, you sneaky, sneaky thoughts.
Who knows what he would like? I was reading a blog post over at Avi's Page and Jen wrote something about projecting our own grief on to our kids.
The thing is it doesn't matter what he would like. It matters what he likes now. Maybe we're projecting our own grief and insecurities onto Christian. If we are sad because we think he wants to run and play with other kids like him, maybe he could care less about that. Maybe he isn't unhappy at all. Maybe he is just fine with dinosaurs and being held and sung to. That makes him happy. And if he's happy, we should be happy.
Know what makes me happy?
I was drinking my coffee this morning, reading through emails and Christian was still in bed. Lola wandered into their room to play and it was awfully quiet in there. So I decided to go see what she was up to and say good morning to Christian. And what did I find? Lola, in Christian's bed with him. His hands and arms reached out for Lola while she played next to him. Best wake up ever. Better than coffee, even.
Today (and Sunday, too) we celebrate! Christian is four and typing that just made me smile.
Happy birthday, baby! I love you!
This song is perfect for you, Christian!
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