You turned five yesterday! An entire hand worth of digits! I love the unbridled glee you greeted me with yesterday morning, the beaminess of your face, the pride in which you said, “I’m five today! and I think I’m bigger now. Can we measure me?” (Even though we measured you a few days ago)
I am finally so aware of how fast this is all going. Songs like Puff the Magic Dragon make me weep… songs about little boys growing up and not wanting to play with their old toys anymore or that one about the cat in the cradle? Makes my heart ache. Those moments when I kiss you at school and you politely ask, “Can you leave now?” It all seems so fast suddenly.
And at the same time you are this tiny creature, a sort of gnome that moves about our house, that at times from a distance, doesn’t quite look real. Your daddy likes to say, “Is that thing real? or is it animatronic?”
The way you still need me to lay down next to you while you fall asleep, how you flush with pride when I tell you what a great paper airplane maker you are, how we still have to be sure you win at Go Fish and Candyland to keep the wailing at bay. You are still so small.
We bought you a little microphone gadget for your birthday so you can sing along to your favorite songs, which at the moment happen to both be by Katy Perry. Thank god you don’t know all the words! But it is the purest kind of joy to hear you sing –and you do all day long. I am praying you never stop.
You were singing at the grocery store one day and an old woman passed by and said, “Now that is a happy child…” and I think it’s true. It’s hard to be sad when you are singing your heart out.
I should add that the singing you do is usually “metal” and “hard rock and roll” and rarely beautiful. Although I love it when you say, “Mama, would you like to hear an angry song or a beautiful song?”
Ben, I hope you know that I love your angry songs and your beautiful ones. I love your jewish folk tunes and your Friday Nights. That whatever song is in your heart, I want to hear it. You are a beautiful boy with so much to share with the world. I love you more than words can say.