You looked into my eyes and breathed into me a love like I'd never known. Your tiny hands wrapped themselves around my bruised heart and allowed it finally, to begin to heal. Soft skin and blue, ever alert eyes had me enchanted in an instant. Those tiny, clenched fists and long frog legs pure joy and light. Your face nestled into my shoulder and and as I traced tiny circles on yourback, just the way you liked, I dreamed of the little boy you would become.
You're two, and delicious. Happy, exuberant even. Loving, affectionate. Your eyes are brown now, shocking us at around 18 months as they shift from clear blue, to a hazel brown. You're a Daddy's boy, though you do love cuddles with Mama. You still love me to stroke your back, soft circles as you drift into slumber. You're sweet. It seems such a simple word, almost as though it's not enough to describe it, but it fits. Sweet. Earnest. All you've ever wanted it for everyone around you to be happy. You're a giver. You give your love freely and without restraint. You're incredibly easy to love. You've captivated the hearts of so many people around you.
You're nearly 4 and still the sweet, loving little boy. You're mine now though. A year ago you were sick, and you scared the life out of us. And somehow, after that terrible week, you and I understood each other. We were so incredibly attuned to one another, as though there was a shift in focus, and everything was suddenly just so clear.
Ever polite and compassionate, I wonder how long you can possibly stay this way. You've been in day care, part time, for months now, and I wait. I wait for the day that the rough play and foul mouths of the children you play with will start to change you. When you will care less for what Mummy tells you, and more for the approval of other children. When you will seem more like them, and I mourn. I know it must come but I'm heartbroken at the thought of it. There are no signs yet, not even one. You're so different, and it is clear to everyone around you. And so far, none of that 'different' feels anything but wonderful.
Five now, and against my instincts, we send you off to school - Prep. For once, my instincts were way off. You thrive. You love it. I remember the way I help you in your sleep the night before, tears trekking their way down my face. I whisper to you, beg you. Please don't change. Please don't let them change you. You're just perfect how you are. I know I'm running out of time, but please, just give me a little longer. I'm not ready yet, I can't say goodbye to who you are right now.
You are seven today. And you must have heard me. Because, my darling son, you haven't changed. You're older. And smarter. A big brother now. But you've still the purest, sweetest heart of anyone I know. Not two days ago you told me that when you were a grown up, you would still love me just as much as you do right now. You said that you knew I wanted you to say six forever, but you had to grow up, you had to be seven soon. But you promised me you'd never be far away, and that we'd always love each other 'more than the universe'.
I cry at your words, silently as your Daddy smiles at me and distracts you, a knowing, sympathetic smile on his face. You're still so innocent, still so sure nothing will ever take you away from me. I'm wasting time, worrying about the day you decide I'm not your whole world. Dreading something that must come, but shows no sign of it's approach yet. I'm missing moments as I try to tell myself this won't last forever, try to brace my heart so it doesn't shatter. I wish I could slow it down. I wish I could force myself to just remain here, in the moment, the way you seem to.
You're growing up. And so far, into a handsome, charming, loving little person. A boy your father and I are so incredibly proud to know and raise. You're such a gift, my Alexander. It's been seven years of loving you, 25 of dreaming about you, imagining you. Can I tell you a secret? I wasn't even close. You're so much more than I dreamed, so much more perfect than my imagination knew.
You're exquisite. You make me want so much, to be so much better, for you. I want you to be happy and healthy. I want you to have friends and family all around you. I want you to explore the world, and have new experiences. I want you to grow and change and learn. I want you to challenge what you know and stand up for what you believe in.
And while I know it is the foolish, helpless wish of every mother, I can't help but make it. I want you to do all of that, and still love me this much. As much as you do today. Forever. I want you to be mine, forever.
That's how long I'm going to be yours.