Here's what I feel like saying to the universe on the eve of Will's second birthday:
No more growing up for me, thanks. My rational brain tells me there's so much to look forward to--just like it did when I hit thirty. And it's RIGHT; I'm already loving my thirty-first year and all the benefits reaped from my birthday promise to be truer to myself. I just don't know why wisdom has to come with the passage of time. Someone should get on that, stat.
My wistfulness about my own birthday has turned into outright moping as Will's draws nigh. How on earth did we get here? Yes, I remember: we went through the caverns of breastfeeding failure to arrive in the meadow of twelve-hour nightsleeping, trekked through the Mobile Baby forest and hooked a left at the brook of babble--and then maybe we took an express train all the way to Two, because it seems like I was just dreaming about preschool selection and Big Brother tee-shirts--I woke up and it was time to say goodbye to my one-year-old.
How do I avoid turning this into an indulgence of my melancholy? Oh, I don't think I can. Just as 30 was the first number that truly felt wrong on me, so I feel about William and that hulking numeral, 2. I used to think:
When he's two, he can take classes at the aquarium, ride a tricycle even!
But today I held him and my grip kept slipping--literally, I mean--and this baby who grew out of 2T clothes nearly a year ago didn't feel at all like a baby, and my stomach rolled sideways as I thought, "He'll never be smaller than he is right now." As big as he feels, as unwieldy he is balancing on my hip or hurling his arms over my shoulders, that's as COMPACT as he'll ever be. I feel like I've just discovered time, and I hate it fiercely for marching on, for altering my boy.
I know I should be thankful; I hope tomorrow I'll wake up with a sunnier take on this birthday business, happy that Will is healthy, that he kisses me, requests me, loves me.
But tonight I sulk instead. I want him here, this size, always as he is right now, perfect. Enough.