After enduring a lot of hiccups and rib-kicking through my last trimester, my (first) little man finally entered the world and into my arms on May 6, 2011. It was a sunny spring Friday afternoon (from what I recall), and as soon as I laid eyes on him, everything else fell away.
Today, 6 years later, my firstborn, Tristan, turns 6. SIX. It’s incredible how fast the time has flown, the amount of experiences we have shared, the moments I have been blessed to witness and be privy to, and the places we have wandered.
I recall our first year together, all the rough spots of being a new parent, to balancing who you are to the parent you want to be, and all the amazing times together. It was a lot of Mommy & T. It’s how I referred to us. From difficult bedtimes (that hasn’t changed, haha) to exploring, seeing and learning the world again through his eyes, through the evolution and development of his personality, to learning just how big your heart can grow (and how badass of a momma bear you can be). I recall how difficult and sad I was when I had to return to work. Such a big change when this little human of mine was just starting to turn into a little person and we were really taking in our time together.
I remember how hard it was for me when I realized that the first few years of his life, he would have little recollection of – all our experiences together, our moments, our times, the love, laughter, and all the in-between. But then I realized that while he may not remember it, it becomes a part of his foundation, and that’s also if I continue to build on it. It’s silly what you think of, sometimes. I read ‘Me Before You’ about a year ago, and when I came across the chapter where the Mom was talking through her experience/perspective, it just hit home, summing what I felt in a matter of sentences. It moved me to tears when I read that (I’m a pretty emotional human being – a feeler, if you will).
“It’s just that the thing you never understand about being a mother, until you are one, is that it is not the grown man…you see before you. You see all the other people he has ever been all rolled up into one.
I looked at [him] and I saw the baby I held in my arms, dewily besotted, unable to believe I had created another human being. I saw the toddler, reaching for my hand, the schoolboy weeping tears of fury after being bullied by some other child. I saw the love, the vulnerabilities, the history.”
Tristan – I have no shortage of love and admiration for you. While we have our challenges, the not-quite-little, not-quite-big boy that stands before me has a huge heart, is compassionate, helpful, loving, strong and brave. You have a sense of wonder that I hope never ceases. You err on the side of caution – but I hope you remember that sometimes it is also good to take a leap of faith. May you understand that mistakes can and will happen, and I hope I have the grace and tenderness to teach, learn and sit with you. You have a wonderful way of seeing your world, of building things, of questioning things around you.
My little T-monster. You are my sunshine, a bright spark in my day, and you take care of me more than you need to. You have grown into such an amazing young boy, with an adventurous spirit (you LOVE our ‘adventures’ together), a calm demeanour (with a little spitfire when pushed the wrong way), and you absolutely love to tell jokes and tall tales (just don’t let that get out of control) – and you gravitate towards other kids who are ‘jokesters’. You like structure but you like to sing your own song. You’re funny, and my heart lights up when we have moments where we laugh uncontrollably together (and we have a few of those). You love hard and are loyal.
An incredible big brother – if you put aside the fighting and bickering (all of which are inevitable with siblings), I couldn’t have asked for two sons as loving as you two are together. Watching you love each other, learn and laugh together, and push each other has made my heart expand to a capacity that I didn’t know was possible. You are the light in Jade’s life – the first person he asks for when he wakes up and the last person he asks about before bed.
These two photos below are from our ‘adventure’ today, of which we try to do as many when we are together. He ran off and discovered some plastic from pop cans, and before he put it into the garbage, he said he had to make it so he could “help save the fishies and ducks.” Days and moments like this remind me to breathe, and although we have rough moments (and likely many more over the years ahead of us), that the lessons I teach do sink in.
Overall, you are amazing. Without your growth, your learning, and our challenges, I couldn’t grow into a better person, a better mommy. You not only learn from me, but I from you. I couldn’t be prouder of who you are becoming and who you have become so far.
Happy 6th Birthday, handsome!
I love you. I loved you first, and I’ll love you always.