Photo Cred: Leslie Rodriguez
I won’t even begin to lie to you. I won’t sugarcoat it at all. This last week has been trying. Not with our newborn baby who hit a growth spurt this week. Not with our 2 year old who caught pink eye and a nasty cold this week. It has been a parenting power struggle with our 4 year old leading up to this day, the much anticipated 5th birthday. Isn’t that the rib though? Once you get into a rhythm and think “hey, we’ve got this”, everything changes and you ain’t got nothin’ but tears in your eyes and a phone call to your mama saying “WTF do we do?!”
After a few changes to our parenting style, we were able to see the forest through the trees and the “eager to please” Noah returned to us as he worked hard to earn his birthday party back [that’s right, a cancellation was in the cards]. This morning was the icing on the cake for me. I was studying Leo’s face after feeding him when Noah ran into my room. “Mom, I’m 5! Baby Leo, I’m 5! Don’t I look stronger? Look at my new muscles!” My little baby is 5 and yet here I am, looking at the spitting image of him in my arms. It was like a movie moment where you zone out and there’s a 60 second flashback of the last 5 years, connecting past to present.
My heart lurched for him this morning, not to say “Happy Birthday, Birdie”, but to say I’m so sorry. I’m sorry you have to be the oldest and therefore you are our guinea pig. I’m so sorry we are inherently harder on you and test all of our parenting methods on you. I’m sorry I didn’t relish every single moment of the last 5 years of your life because it has gone by insanely fast. I’m sorry we don’t tell you several times a day how amazing you are despite all of this.
Tonight, we will celebrate the day we became parents and welcomed Noah into the world with pizza, cake, ice cream and a present he’s been asking for since the fall. The real gift I want to give him though, is a better set of parents; ones that recognize that not only are Taylor and me doing this day, this age, this growth spurt, this life change for the first time, but so is Noah.
You are going to look like a rockstar in that Ironman costume, but you are already a superhero to us every time you share with your sister, soothe your brother with your rendition of “Can’t Stop the Feeling” and every time you don’t hold it against us that we rocked your world when we took your from only child to big brother. Mommy, Daddy, Aria, Leo & Derby love you to the moon and back. We are so happy God gave us you.