Yesterday, Joshua turned nine. I wished it wasn’t a holiday and I could just do the shortcut birthday celebration of bringing a cake to his classroom, but it was the second Monday in a row that was declared no school. So we had to do an almost impromptu celebration which gave me all sorts of mixed feelings inside — vowing this is the last party of this kind because it’s too much work at the same time realizing that he’s nine and the kiddie party would soon transition away from loot bags and games with prizes. He’s a big boy with a mind of his own. He knows what level of festivity he wants. Mommy has to step back and let him decide.
A day before his birthday, Joshua attended the party of their neighbor and playmate, Kianna. He loved winning the newspaper dance and making slime, but for his own party he whispered to teacher Hazel that he didn’t want games. When we did do a quickie set of games because there were prizes that Joshua had chosen (super bargain fidget spinners), Joshua was happy. I wouldn’t have been able to pull off his party without the enormous loving help of Hazel.
Joshua, Jimmy and I cleaned up after the party and when they were tucked in bed, I went down to gaze at the baby and toddler photos of Joshua on the wall. (He didn’t want to have any naked baby photos displayed.) I felt like the sentimental momma who will soon prepare for the kids’ launch into succeeding phases of increasing independence and the baby-toddler-kiddie phase would just be memorialized in photos and our hearts. But they cannot be re-captured nor re-lived.
This guy’s up next but I have a few more years to go with this one.
P.S. It’s two days after the party and I haven’t taken down the baby and toddler photos. I keep staring at them thinking, where’s that baby gone? They morph into different beings with no memory of when they were babies and you just have pictures to prove they were this small once. And they’ll morph again into teenagers and all you can do is hug them tighter hoping to reach the baby hidden inside.