Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Life is a Highway: Happy Birthday, Beckett!

"Happy Birthday to You! Happy Birthday to You!" we sang.

"Me?" Beckett squealed delightedly as we sang, 15 or so smiling faces showering him with love and affection.

He genuinely sounded surprised and delighted, his James cake that I baked and decorated just for him, sitting before him.

It is that sweetness, that sense of wonder and delight and joy in everything he does that makes my sweet Beckett so special. Perhaps because he has been such an easy baby and toddler when compared to his beautiful, intelligent, sensitive, stubborn, Dyspraxic brother who questions everything and pushes every button, that these three years have all but flown by. Or maybe it was the distractions of a life lived more fully this time. Whatever the cause, I want my baby back. (Okay... Am I the only one who just heard that Chili's commercial in my head? Okay. Good.)

Seriously. Where did all the time go? How did he get to be so big and strong and tough. He talks constantly and makes up funny stories. He says the funniest things. He has a delightful sense of humor. He's just like his big bro in his love for all things Thomas. But he also loves animals. Especially elephants. He does the cutest impersonation of a baby elephant and insists that I be the mommy elephant.

He just moved to a big boy bed on Monday night. I got a fantastic deal on a great mattress on craigslist from an interior decorator who does model homes. And I bought his cute, old-fashioned solid wood bed at a yard sale last summer for $5. I plan to paint it, but he was eager to have his own bed like his brother instead of the crib he was still in with the side removed.

He helped me pick out dinosaur bedding for it, which I haven't ordered yet, but plan to do later this week. It will be part of his Christmas presents. The bed was his birthday gift from Mom and Dad. His brother gave him the James train (which he had already) as his gift. We encourage Brendan to give Beckett one of his toys that he has outgrown as a gift each birthday and Christmas. How long that can last, I don't know. But I love how Brendan has embraced and really gives it a lot of consideration.

All of this rumination is really, quite simply, about how much I hate the passage of time. I would have liked to have had more children. I still long for a daughter and find myself increasingly resentful of friends and acquaintances who are expecting who tell me they are having girls. Not all of them, of course. But some. I know that I don't feel like I could do the whole pregnancy thing again. Not because I feel old physically. I actually feel fantastic. But, I am regaining my body. I am more physically fit than I ever have been in my life because I started working out pretty consistently after Beckett, dropping out from time to time because of my schedule or sickness or whatever. But the idea of taking 9 months off, of getting stretched out again. I can't do it. Call me selfish. Call me vain. (You're so vain! I bet you think this post is about you, don't you, don't you?) Whatever. I am turning 40 in January. I want to own my body for once and love it.

Beckett's birthday is just another mile marker on Life's Highway that reminds me to embrace and enjoy every day, every moment. I spend way too much time locked up in sorrow and worry, anxiety and grief over my failings or loss or the failings and loss of others. All I have is now. All any of us have is now. I want to be thankful for the beautiful gifts – Scott, Brendan, Beckett, Courtney (my bestest friend) my friends, extended family, my talents, my home, my health, my faith – and let the rest of the chaff flow on down the river.

And I want my sons to live their lives filled with gratitude and joy. How can they do that if their parents don't embrace that attitude?

So, what is the best gift I can give my Beckett? A life lived fully, in love, in faith, in joy.

Happy Birthday, Little One.