>> Friday, July 2, 2010
When I grow up, I want to be a tornado.
-Eli, age 3 and 11/12ths
The night he was born, I lay next to him in our bed at home, feet away from where he entered the world,
watching him sleep.
I watched his chest rise and fall, rise and fall,
for three hours.
I'm not sure I even blinked.
And when the birds started singing outside our bedroom window,
the sun rising and washing my newborn boy in the first warm, bright light he'd ever seen,
I finally drifted off, feeling somehow
like we made it.
Tell me a story without a book, as I tuck him into bed.
I'm too tired to tell a story.
Tell me a story from your head.
Five nights ago, I tuck him under sheets in the cave of the bottom bunk.
I'll tell you a story about when you born.
And I do, skipping over the parts he'd find boring and sharing the grand parts with great enthusiasm
and when we get to the part where I proclaim
how very happy I am to meet him!
how glad I am he's mine!
he smiles huge and grabs my cheeks in his hands
planting juicy lips on mine and telling me
I love you, Mama.
We're leaving my grandmother's house after a visit. She let him take a Batman motorcycle to borrow for the night. (He has no idea who Batman is.)
I wish that was our house.
Cuz I want that scary motorcycle. I like scaaaar-y stuff. (both hands up, palms out, fingers spread.)
You know your birthday's coming up -- would you like a motorcycle? A scary one?
I would like chocolate cake. Can we have chocolate cake?
Of course. And you could have a toy. What kind of toy would you like? Would you like a scary toy?
Can I have a scary chocolate cake? We could put a mad face on it to make it scary.
I knew he'd be my little firecracker.
From 3cm and the first contraction that reminded me what labor felt like
to holding that boy in my arms,
he's a force, that child.
a muscleman, caveman, tornado of a boy
with the squishiest cheeks I've ever smooshed.
before I sneak off to bed at night, I sneak into his.
I rescue sheets pinned under limbs and
I cover the quiet tornado, the little starfish
And I kiss his pink piggy cheeks
my heart swells in my chest, huge and warm.
he will wake tomorrow with the energy of the fire-hot sun.
it's his birthday. four years I've had with this boy who drives me right up to the edge each and every day,
who keeps me laughing,
who certainly won't let me take myself too seriously.
happy birthday, my boy. My Eli. I love you, buddy.
for those of you who love birth stories, Eli's is linked from last year's birthday post (which actually has some pretty cute pictures and some funny Eli stories, too). Like I said then, the birth story photos are family-friendly, but not for the prudish among you. It ain't nothin' you haven't seen at the beach, but the context is a little different. ;)