I get a physical ache when I look a baby pictures of Noah now. That’s not to say it didn’t happen before, but 9? Nine just seems so old. So very old. Almost two digits and dangerously close to the time when Noah might start to presume (and look, I know it is totally normal, but I don’t have to like it) that he is too cool to hang with us anymore.
At this point, he still asks us to tuck him in and promises he wants to live with us forever, but I know the end is coming soon.
How did nine years pass so quickly by? How did I go from hearing “It’s a boy!” for the first time to wondering just how much longer I can get away with buying him matching pajamas in the boys section at the Gap?
In some ways it is a relief to be through those first years with your first born. For every sweet baby breath there’s an equal amount of worry. And Noah, for as wonderful as he is, was far from an easy baby. He was not the baby described in baby books. Sleeping? Hardly. Eating? When he felt like it. Crying? Absolutely. I had no idea how to answer when someone would ask “Is he a good baby?”
I worried that every move he made (and didn’t make) came down to something I did or didn’t do correctly. He must cry because I am working. He must not sleep well because I didn’t use an organic sheet. I am responding to his cries too quickly. I am not holding him enough. I am holding him too much. I took every criticism and suggestion to heart.
I wish I could tap 25 year old me on the shoulder and reassure her that nine years later, Noah still would be a pretty terrible sleeper. He just doesn’t need that much sleep. He also eats when he’s hungry and stops when he’s full. He almost never eats for pleasure or comfort. And while he doesn’t cry so much these days, he can be emotional and get his feelings hurt quite easily. That baby that seemed to write his own rules? He still does.
We celebrated with a low key birthday party last weekend. Noah’s not like the girls. He didn’t want a theme (much to my Pinterest-loving heart’s distress). He wanted swimming. He wanted soccer. He wanted pizza. He didn’t want matching plates and chalkboard signs and party games. He got the things he wanted. The boys had a blast and though the sleepover part was a bit of a bust (there was some homesickness happening), Noah had a great birthday. We gave him an iTouch, and while it may be a bit dramatic, it felt like the first stretching of the cord.
I am so happy Noah’s our boy and while I couldn’t be prouder of who he is.
I just want to enjoy him a little longer. I’m not ready for it to be half way over yet.