The other night the boys were playing with the neighborhood kids. On their bikes up and down the street well after dark. Giggles could be heard even when their faces couldn't be seen. I hated to call them in. Playing after dark on a hot summer night. What fun.
At one point as Wise One was making his round around the street he looked back at me and yelled "I love you mommy!" I yelled it back to him and smiled. And then really smiled. I was looking at a nine year old face. He's nine. When did that happen? He is on a bigger bike. He is big enough to ride in the street. He is old enough to go to the end of the street and back. As I sat on the driveway I thought of all the ways he is still three years old to me. Chubby fat little fingers gripping my hand. Reaching up for me to carry him. Staying "only on the sidewalk" with his tricycle. But he is not three any more. He is a sweet young man who needs me less and less but at the same time more and more.
And he still calls me mommy. And he still screams he loves me at the top of his lungs amongst all his friends. What a sweet boy he is. Enough to make my mommy heart hurt!
One day I will look up and he will be eighteen. Where will the time go? Plenty more bikes to out grow and plenty more nights after dark having summer fun. I hope I always remember to slow down long enough to breathe them all in. Take deep, deep breaths of my boy.