I’ve Been Telling Him He’s My Baby

We had a birthday party for Max on Monday, despite the fact that Frank’s friend, Mitchell, was hit by a car coming to Max’s last birthday party. Mitchell’s much better now and arrived safely at the party (without ambulances, fire engines and police cars). But….it just wouldn’t be Max’s birthday without a trip to the Emergency Room, now would it?! That’s where Richard rushed Ali after she came home with two very painful and swollen fingers after a mishap on the slide at school. Not to worry. It’s only a sprain and they arrived back home just in time for Max’s party. Much to her brothers’ delight, Ali is now wearing a splint that makes it look like she’s shooting the bird.

It seems like only yesterday when we were posting updates right here about Max’s impending birth. I’m not quite sure how it happened so fast, but Max is no longer my helpless, cuddly infant. He’s talking in sentences and keeps us laughing whenever he opens his mouth. His latest funny is his mispronunciation of Matt’s name (Matt is Zach’s friend). Max calls him “Meat.”

While my youngest is gaining independence and starting to forget that Mommy (me!) is supposed to be the center of his universe, my oldest will be 17 years old next week. If I think about that too long, I’ll start to cry. I was quite shocked when I realized one day last Spring that I was talking to my son, but looking up at him, not down. How did that happen? Another thing that shocked me was when I learned that Zach now outweighs me by a significant amount. I definitely can’t lift him anymore, but he could probably throw me over his shoulder if he wanted to. (And if he does, he’s grounded!)

Since Zach was born, I’ve been telling him he’s my baby, and that he’ll always be my baby. As he grew older, he started rolling his eyes whenever I reminded him of that fact. From that loving sentiment grew an ongoing, humorous debate between us. I always remind him that he’s my baby, and, even though I still feel (and act) like a kid myself (I was only 19 when he was born), he reminds me of my advancing years. He often makes comments like “When you were a kid, what radio program did your family listen to in the parlor each night?” and “Mom, how old were you when electricity was invented?”

Ah, sometimes I regret teaching my children to be witty. But, recently, I thought I’d had the last laugh in our age debate.

When we were white water rafting, one of the guides thought the man sitting next to me on the bus was my date. My “date” was actually Zach! Ha ha! While Zach was so mortified by the comment I thought he was going to be ill, I was glowing for several hours, openly beaming about my obvious youthful appearance and personality. But, it wasn’t long before Zach figured it out. The man wasn’t confused by my youthful appearance at all. The confusion was caused by the fact that my “baby” now has the face and body of a full-grown man. When Zach made me realize what was now an obvious fact, he laughed hysterically while the wrinkles at the corners of my mouth and eyes froze with the realization that…he was right. I’m no longer a teenager…and my “baby” is almost a man.

Hugs to everybody!