Today my son turned five. It’s honestly sort of surreal. It’s been five years and yet I’m still sort of reeling from the profound change that becoming a parent has made in my life. It seems as if every time I gain my bearings, things change and I have to start all over again.
I know that people sometimes get down on parents, especially moms, and most especially stay-at-home moms, saying that what we do is not special. Thousands upon thousands of people give birth every day and a good majority of them go on to raise those children and be parents. But on days like today I can’t help but feel like it is special.
This person used to live inside my body. There was a time when he didn’t exist, a time when he was just a few cells deciding if they wanted to live, a time when his whole body fit inside my belly and I could feel him stretch and move and kick and grow. He was born. He ate and cried and needed me. He grew and he learned to crawl and to talk and to walk and to really communicate. He learned to hold a crayon and to draw and the names of all the colors.
Now he is a person in the world all his own. He has friends and he has people he chooses not to be friends with. He writes stories. He is funny and annoying and intelligent and amazing. He affects other people. People I barely know and sometimes people I have never met. He will continue to change the lives of the people around him for years to come. And it all started when he lived inside me.
So, today, when my tiny baby turned into a real big kid five-year-old, I think it is special that I brought him into the world and that I’m helping to shape the person he is and will become. And it is special that I love him so much and he loves me so much and we are a family.