How is it possible that 10 years have gone by since my first boy was born? Tomorrow he will turn 10 and begin his 11th year on this earth. I cannot believe that so much time has gone by since he came squalling into this world, looking like a little Eskimo, making our hearts feel as though they could burst wide open at any moment. I can't believe he has gone from that wee babe who slept and cried and needed me for everything, to this handsome, sensitive, artistic soul who still sleeps and cries, but needs me for less and less. A boy who is learning to walk on his own in this world, who is becoming the man I always knew he would be, but still can't believe it's happening before my very eyes.
J said last night that E turning 10 is making him feel even older than his impending 40th birthday makes him feel, and I agree. How could we have gone from those wide-eyed, our-whole life-is-still-ahead-of-us college sweethearts to parents of a 10-year-old boy so quickly? For that matter, how did I go from being 10 myself to having a 10 year old? Is that weird for you, too? Do you sometimes feel like you can access those feelings and emotions and memories so easily that the years can't possibly be so long gone?
I asked my mother that once: when do you start feeling your age? She says you don't; that sometimes, even though she's past sixty, she still feels like she's that carefree 16-year-old girl who was the class clown and danced with a doorknob to practice for the school sock hop. Or the sly 7-year-old who snuck up to the attic and found her Toni doll, permed it's hair and put it back in the box, re-wrapped it and feigned surprise on Christmas morning. (True story.) I hope so. I hope that even though time goes by in the blink of an eye, that we never stop feeling like being a kid was just a minute ago. I hope we never feel old, even when we look old. I hope our kids (and grandkids someday) keep us young at heart. I hope I never forget what it was like to run through the woods pretending to be Tarzan (never Jane, only Tarzan) or to swing on the swings so high you felt like you really might touch the sky or to swim in the ocean for so long that your chest hurt when you breathed in and out. I hope I never forget what it was like to be a kid. I hope I never forget how I felt when my boy turned 10.
Happy Birthday, E. You are my sunshine.