. . . . i remember the day we brought you home from the hospital. wrapped up snug in the warmth of the blanket, eyes shut tight, sleeping peacefully. your mother and i laid you down in the bassinet beside our bed. fast asleep, there you are. regardless if it was just to watch you sleep, or if it was time for your feeding and changing, we couldn’t take our eyes off of you. the lying on your back soon turned to you crawling, and your crawling soon became your first steps. the cries became baby talk, and the baby talk became your first words. and soon after your six month birthday, was your first. all too fast. one through four, and now, today birthday boy, five years already, like a blink of the eye, the time flashes by. the room quickly fills with the smell of blown out birthday candles and hand clapped cheers. superhero plates, balloons, party hats and streamers. a small group of friends gather, singing and watching. what did you wish for?, birthday boy; was it for the bike, slip n slide or for the baseball and glove; can you teach me to throw and catch, dad? and as quickly as the candles were blown out, the presents unwrapped, and cake eaten, you and the other five five year olds run out and jump back into the pool. a warm spring day, happy birthday. kids playing, adults conversing, grilling, this is your day, my son, my birthday boy. as i grill the hot dogs my mind wonders, finding it hard to believe that you’ve grown so fast, where has the time gone. gone by too quickly, already. but here, we celebrate your birthday, our pride and joy. with amazement i just watch him play, cannonball and splash. quickly going back into the moment of grilling, thanks to your mother, she tells me that im on fire; and just in time to prevent a dog catching on fire, black and charcoal’d. i look towards her and laugh and tell her that, for a split second, i thought she was talking about me. as i fix another round of dogs, we watch you play, and we stand in awe of the gift, that is you. disrupted by your baby brother or sister kicking, your mother goes and sits on the porch chair, and by her side, and i reach my hand over her belly, to feel the baby’s kicking; moving. again, i sit in awe. one birthday party will soon be two. brother and brother or brother and sister. jumping up to finish the last of the grilled food, we serve it up and eat. and the small group of kids and adults gather once more, for a second lunchtime meal, grab and go. afterwards with a catsup mouth, ball and glove in hand, you ask if i can teach you how to throw and catch ball. i smile and gladly pick you up and carry you to the front yard, where it’s just you and me, and green grass in between our toes. the peace of the front yard, birds chirping, the new baby leaves rustling, and the distant noise of the party still going on, in the back of the house. after a few lessons on catching, your mother comes around and joins us, to actually just watch us, and take pictures of you, our little birthday joy. ball cap, glove and ball in hand. tossing the ball straight to the ground, frustration sets in, and you run for comfort in your mothers arms. tiredness starts to creep in and your mother carries you as we all head back to the party and say our thank you’s and good-bye’s. sun set, sets in and the air cools. as everyone is now gone, and after we finish cleaning up, we head inside and up the stairs. drawing a birthday bubble bath, i sit and listen as you tell us your favourite parts of your party, which happens to be the whole thing. you change into your birthday pj’s and hop into bed. after your mother changed into her pj’s, she joins us by your bed and helps me with reading your bedtime story. and before the first page was turned, you were out like a light, holding teddy tight, dreaming. and there, your mother and i, looking over the angel in our home, wrapped up, snug in the warmth of your spider-man blankets, eyes shut tight, sleeping peacefully. just like we were, five years ago to the day. the bassinet has turned into a big boy bed, baby blonde hair, now dark brown and curly, baby blues has turned a bluish green. and our baby is not a baby anymore, he is now our young boy, our birthday boy. growing up too fast.
c. 2013 BGW