Watching them grow (happy birthday)

Aside from the day my children were born, yesterday was the most amazing day of my life.  Gavin’s first real birthday party.

I want to tell you all how wonderful it was, I want to transport you to the festivities, I want to share the experience with you all.  But I can’t.  I have no words.

How do you describe the feeling you get when you see your baby turn 3?  When you see him with 20 of his classmates and friends dancing and laughing, sharing and playing?

His legs are a dancing blur!

When you see him get kissed for the very first time, by a little girl, the one in his class that he has been saying for weeks is ‘so pretty’, and he looks directly at you mommy, with stars in his eyes?  In that instant you see him at 15 with his first of many broken hearts.  I make note to remind him of the bruises on his legs at 3, they hurt when you get them but fade with time.  Don’t stop playing.  Never stop loving.  Keep that open heart baby boy.

How do you describe the humbling feeling you get when his eyes sparkle and you ask if he is having fun and he says, ‘yes, mommy!  this is awesome!’ in that breathless way that you praise him and are excited by every new discovery and every new experience you have together?

How do you describe the feeling of pride you get when you really see your child for the first time?  When you know he belongs to others in this world besides just you.  When your heart hurts with pride more than nostalgia until the musician plays the Beatles song you sang to him every single day he had colic and then the pride and nostalgia are equal and produce tears in your eyes.

How do you describe the feeling of bittersweet love when all you want to do is kiss him and hold him and tell him you are amazed by him and the boy he is becoming but you don’t and you can’t because you need to let him play, let him dance, let him practice being that phenomenal boy that he is?

Star of the party -- and my heart

There is only one word to describe all these feelings:  motherhood.


Hey, what about me?!?!

Oh yes!  I forgot, it was Chloe’s party too.

Don’t worry, she had fun.  She always does.

All for me!!!!

14 thoughts on “Watching them grow (happy birthday)

  1. wow, it sounds like this part was even more fun than one of our college ones… which says a lot! we celebrate 2 and 4 at a joint party in march, and i can’t wait. still, i wish we could celebrate these things together. miss you. xoxo

    • College was so fun it should have been illegal (was it?). This was fun, but far more than that it was 120 minutes of a million proud moments (which I know I can’t say for our college parties!).

      Two and four already? Take notes so I know what to expect 😉

  2. Carinn,
    I found your site today thanks to a comment you made on mine, and I realized in one post what I’ve been missing out on – you, are, a writer. Can’t wait to keep reading! (And to keep empathizing and enjoying the stories of a fellow mom with toddlers!). It’s bound to get messy, right? 😉

  3. Love that post. I’ve been trying to put into words how I feel watching the boys play and have fun…and the difficulty I have sitting back and watching when I want to be a part of it all. Being a mom is pretty awesome :)

  4. This is very sweet ! Have to tell you, love the photo at the top; I s’pose this is how we like to envision motherhood instead of the yoga pants & flipflops version !

    • right? the photo at the top – that’s certainly the idea I had in my head. I wore heels and dresses or at least nice pants…sometime…didn’t I? Even though I knew my life would change, I don’t think I realized just how much!

  5. This is so sweet, I love how you wrote it and were able to express so many of the overwhelming emotions and we feel at these moments with our children as they grow. Made me cry just a little :) Lovely post, thank you for sharing this with us.

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