Mar 14, 2013 - By Clair McFarlandAnd time is sitting on my shoulders, shouting at me
Today is my younger son's first birthday. Also, my older son's third birthday is in 10 days, so March is just a big celebration of life in our house. No jokes about the month of June, please.
As for the festivities today, there will be excess -- pointless, joyful excess. We've bought toys for the baby that aren't as cool as the packaging in which they arrived, as well as a cake he can't finish and decorations he will want to destroy.
Because that's what we do.
We mark the occasions of our children's lives with care and efforts that they won't be able to appreciate fully, in an attempt to make these special occasions stand out against the fleeting timeline of their childhoods like that certain statue does against Sunset Drive.
Time will not slow down because of these efforts, no matter how much success we have in making a cake resemble a baseball. My babies and your babies are growing up whether we over-decorate or not, and they're doing it at a rate that makes us ever more eager to spoil them, shed tears, and admit that total mind control is not a parenting method.
I feel I should pause here, as the reader may scoff at the thought of this baby-mama trying to tell the populace how quickly these early years go, when she herself is still entrenched in them.
After all, I am still running my washing machine nearly to the point of combustion, fretting over the price of baby wipes, and finding old apples in my closet.
Time is not rushing past me, it's sitting on my shoulders shouting "fly me like Buzz Lightyear!"
The more seasoned matriarchs of my life could say "you ain't seen nothin' yet," and they're right. I live only in this chaotic existence of innocence.
I think I have reasons to worry, but there will come a day when I watch my babies graduate, wreck motorcycles, hatch world-domination schemes, and - worst of all - date.
Still, mine are growing so fast, in inches, pounds, and teeth. I often plot my temporary escapes - date nights with the Husband, lone bicycle rides on Sundays - and they grow even faster while I'm gone.
Just the other night, the Husband and I finally decided to have a date night. We went to the movies (where we discovered that someone didn't have their thinking cap on when they made the new "Die Hard"), and when we went to collect our children from the overqualified parents, or grandparents, we realized that the little one had grown from "baby" to "boy" while we were away.
Even though I'm not experienced enough to answer the question "do they just grow up too fast?" I must respond anyway, with a resounding "do bears defecate in the woods?
Are my arms disproportionately long? Should pop artists learn from Mumford and Sons' success and pick up a mandolin?" Well, yes. The very certainty of these affirmatives - in response to the initial question regarding the lightning pace at which these boys grow into individuals with driver's licenses and girlfriends - is enough to make me celebrate my sons' babyhood birthdays like it's 1999. Without all the computer meltdown anxiety.
With today as a shining beacon to which we can look back when we're busy ignoring all the bygone loads of laundry and overworked brooms, we'll stride into all of our tomorrows with our boys.
I know I'll enjoy each of their phases differently. Soon they'll be going to school, and then they'll be playing sports -- or mandolins.
Once I relinquish all mind control attempts whatsoever, they'll become men.
And if they choose to give me grandchildren, I'll help with the birthday parties.
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