Seven years ago today, on Mother's Day, I held you in my embrace for the first time, and my arms trembled just a little with the strangeness and the sweetness of the new weight they had to bear. I wondered that day just whom I was greeting. Now I know.
I was holding a boy who would one day know the names of 50 varieties of butterfly, who would run for a jar to put spiders back outside saying "Quick, before someone smashes it," who would befriend the garter snake in the backyard, who would sing to his pet fish, who would never, ever, not even once, pull a cat's tail.
Seven years ago today I was holding a child who would one day step between fighting friends and push them apart. Who would hear me crying in another room and draw me a picture of flowers and slide it under the door.
Seven years ago I was holding a boy who would fight, fight harder than a child so young should have to fight, through a a sensory disorder and a motor skills delay, and win, again and again, learning to climb a ladder and ride a bike and kick a soccer ball and frighten his mother by climbing too-high chainlink fences.
Seven years ago I thought I was already falling in love hard. I had no idea, then, how much harder I could fall.
I look at you, my once-and-only-baby, all unfolded into bottomless brown eyes and tangled flaming hair and a laughing gap-toothed grin and long gangly limbs running full tilt away from me into a future I can only imagine now, and will only ever get to see part of. And the trembling woman from seven years ago is still here, longing to fold you back into the arms you have made so much stronger.
But instead, I will just say, keep running. Run far.