I used to believe in forever. I'd hold your tiny body in my arms, forever. I'd smell your fresh-from-heaven head, forever. I'd kiss your little fingers and toes, forever. I'd feel your chest rise and fall as you laid on my own, forever. And, yes, I'd be changing your diapers, forever. You were everything I could have ever hoped for. Your eyes, your cries, your sighs. They were all I'd waited for. And you'd be my baby, forever.
I used to believe in forever. But I blinked and you turned one.
And then, in a flash so quick and so bright I can't quite wrap my brain around it, you were two.
And quicker, even, than that burst of light, you turned three.
Now, without consulting me at all, you've gone and turned four. I'm left with memories of those early years and the vague idea that, once upon a time, I changed your diapers.
Garrett, you are sunshine and honey and the smell of fresh strawberries all rolled into a body that never quits and a personality that warms me from the inside out. I don't think you will ever know, don't think you could ever know, just how much of my heart you hold in the palm of your hand. I don't think it's possible for you to ever comprehend just how much I needed you and just how far you've exceeded all of my expectations.
That's not to say you're perfect. Boy howdy! Far from it. You're stubborn and bossy, strong-willed and occasionally sassy. Sometimes you talk back. Sometimes you kick me. Okay, in fairness, that was only once and you were thoroughly punished for it. You test me and push the limits and ask for candy at 8:00 am. But you are so very tenderhearted, so in tune to spiritual things, so in love with your family that, while you try my patience on a daily basis, I find myself wondering how we were blessed with such a tremendous gift.
I miss the days when I believed in forever. I miss how tiny you were and how you fit perfectly between my chin and my waist. I miss those days--and I think I always will. But I love your hugs, the hilarious things you say, the joy of seeing you become a little man. I look forward to watching you grow and change this year and beyond. I hope you're enjoying your first full day as a four-year-old. I love you with all of my heart!