The boy who would grow up

So, it’s only been… how many weeks since my last post? Let’s just call that a blogging dry spell, shall we?

And now we’re moving on to talk about the fact that my eldest child is turning five on Wednesday. He’s spelling words – sounding them out, by himself! – and real, honest-to-goodness, five-days-a-week school is just a few short months away. I’m not entirely sure how any of this has happened, but it’s here, and I’m doing my best to keep up.

We celebrated with family today, and it was fantastic. Corin chose Peter Pan as the theme for his party. We kept things relatively low-key, but we did dress in costume, which was way fun.

I had to work to ignore the irony of planning a birthday party based on the boy who wouldn’t grow up. I tease Corin sometimes about trying to keep him little. “What if I put really heavy books on your head?” “What if I stopped feeding you all those healthy vegetables?” And he laughs and says, “No, I’ll just keep growing.” I feel keenly the shortness of these days. They are slipping through my fingers, and all I can do is snap photographs and say a prayer that I can hang on to the memories. These days are often hard and not at all glamorous, but they are precious to me.

Today, though, I have been reminded of what an incredible experience it is to watch a child grow and learn. It’s happening before my eyes. He’s taller, his face is leaner, he’s obsessed with superheroes and sword battles, he can spell “table” with minimal help. This year, I watched him anticipate and appreciate his birthday party in new ways. It is bittersweet, but there is joy in it.

For better or worse, our Peter Pan will grow up. It’s happening right now. (They Might Be Giants, anyone? “You’re older than you’ve ever been, and now you’re even older. And now you’re even older. And now you’re even older…”) I get my brief window to try to teach him things, to shape his character, to point him to the God who made Him and gives him a future. I’ll take it, and call it the privilege it is.

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