Andre was born six weeks early. Not scary early. But early enough that the hospital called in our pediatrician (and friend) Toby, for the delivery. Everything went off without a hitch. Andre was born healthy and strong. But he was no looker. As his mother, I can say that. Honestly, the doctor warned us before he handed him to us. He was born with a bacterial infection of the skin (the reason he was early) and it made him look like he was broken out in pimples.
No worries though. After a round of antibiotics, it cleared right up. And he got a lot cuter too.
Back to him being born. As I said, our pediatrician was there for the delivery and to resuscitate him if needed (it wasn't needed). Let me say that it is not fun to be naked from the waist down in front of your child's pediatrician. I don't care if he is a doctor. He's not my doctor. During the delivery he was pretty busy getting an isolette set up in case Andre needed to be taken to the NICU (a very scary place that luckily we didn't need). But after Andre was stabilized he was walking freely around the room. I finally had enough and said, "Toby, if you don't stay north of my waist I'm going to go all post-partum on you right here and now." He thought this was funny and stayed up around my shoulders. My doctor however thought this was really funny and then told the whole room, "Hey, once you've seen one, you've seen them all."
I. Was. Mortified.
Matt is laughing. Toby the pediatrician is laughing. My doctor is laughing. The nurses are even chuckling a little bit. If I hadn't been in a compromising al-fresco situation I would have walked out of the room.
Six years later Toby and I laughed about this very situation at Andre's six year check up where he was pronounced perfect in every way. Here is Andre now.
He's got the biggest heart. He always has a kiss and a hug for you. He has the lightest blue eyes I've ever seen. He loves riding bikes, playing cars, swinging out back. He wanted books, Legos and puzzles for his birthday. He cried when I read him the card his Daddy sent him. He dried his eyes and said, "Even though Daddy can't be here this year, he'll be home next." Even at six he has faith that things will get better. He loves his friends. Here he is with his two best friends, Cassy-Wassy and Zackaroni and Cheese.
The night before his birthday when he was already in bed, it hit me that I would never, ever have a five year old again. Never. This was it. This was the last time we would have first day of kindergarten and first bike and all those other exciting things that happen at five. I started to cry. A lot. I couldn't believe it was going so fast. I needed to see him, hold him, kiss him one last time while he was still five. At 11:50 pm, I snuck into his room and crawled in his bed where he was fast asleep. I held him. I stroked his sleepy little head. I kissed his cheeks. I whispered all my hopes and dreams for his future in his perfect little five year old ear. And then I said good-bye to him.
The next morning when he tumbled out of bed I grabbed him and held him and kissed him for the first time as a six year old. I tickled his six year old tummy and nussled his six year old neck. I took a deep breath and sighed with relief. He is getting older and I will never get back those days that are gone. But isn't that what makes them so precious? Because they are so fleeting? That the perfection of childhood and youth are so impermanent?
Today he played soccer. For the first time as a six year old. And I have 364 days of six year old stuff left. It's going to be a good year.