Thursday, October 26, 2006
Almost a teenager
He's been a pre-teen for longer than I can remember, yet it still seems like yesterday that we first drove him home from the hospital.
As our eldest son, Zach, celebrates his 12th birthday today, I find myself asking how 12 years managed to fly by so quickly, and I wonder if I've done a good enough job trying to capture it all.
We became parents when we had him, and we learned the ropes as he outgrew one stage and transitioned into the next. He taught us to trust our instincts as parents, to have confidence in our ability to shepherd him from newborn to almost-adult - and eventually beyond. We worried at first that we'd somehow break or damage him by doing the wrong thing. But somehow, we miraculously got him to this stage, to the point that he's beginning to spread his own wings in his increasingly expansive world.
He seems to grow taller with each passing day, and will likely be looking down on his mother before too many more birthdays have passed. But as much as we try to remember what it was like to cradle him in our arms and revel in the newness of parenthood, we realize the true magic of our collective journey lies in his ability to take increasingly large steps on his own, to establish himself not only as our son, but as his own person.
Which he will no doubt do as he continues to grow. He's smart, sensitive, and caring. He's big brother to his brother and sister, who despite the usual friction that accompanies sibling relationships, look up to him and play happily in his orbit. He's a good kid, one any parent would be glad to call his or her own. Which we do. Happy birthday, not-so-little-man.
Your turn: What would you wish for Zach on his birthday?
But wait, there's more: In case you haven't read his 11th birthday entry from last year, click here.