You'll have to excuse me today, I'm tender hearted. Today my youngest child (my baby) turned 6. My eyes are pricking up with tears as I type that. I've been tearing up all day at the slightest thing. Late last night I drove home from a speaking engagement in Dallas. I was planning to stay overnight but there was an ice storm coming in and, if I stayed, I would probably be stuck for days and miss his birthday completely. Maybe it was the late hour (I didn't get home until almost 4 am) or the melancholy songs on my iPod but I think I cried off and on for the last hour and a half of the drive.
Don't get me wrong, I'm happy and proud too. I'm excited about the years in front of him but my heart aches at the thought that I just said goodbye to my five year old. I said goodbye to my oldest boy's 5 year old days a few years ago but the heartbreak was less because I still had my youngest behind him in age. But now, from the looks of things, I may never see 5 year old children in my house again.
My children have gifted me with the most incredible and intense love and acceptance that I have ever known. I love them in a way that I have never loved anyone. That has also been a gift. I had no idea how vulnerable I could really be. Right now they want to be held, sit on my lap and snuggle before bed. It is heaven. Their open fragility and blind love have changed me as a person and sometimes that change, that opening up of my heart, feels really scary.
Last night, with the icestorm at my back, driving home to them I felt like this moment in our lives was slipping away. I felt my babies slipping away.
Today, I want to stop this fast moving train. My heart simply can't handle the speed. I'm going to be repeating Kelly Rae's mantra to myself over and over...brave in sadness, brave in love.
So, if you see me today, I could probably use a hug. Feel free to give virtual ones too. It's only 2 pm and I still have to get through the birthday dinner tonight.