My baby boy is eight. He was seven just yesterday. I blinked, I turned around, and here he is, eight.
When the girls were younger, we decided that eight is the year you move from being a big little kid to a little big kid. "Do you have to turn eight? Why don't we skip it this year? I've been enjoying seven," I told him. "Moo-oom. I can't help it. I have to be eight," he replied.
The picture above....not the greatest picture from a photographic standpoint. Unless you really know him. I see him like this a lot, you know, partly quizzical, a little rumpled, almost sleepy like he's surfacing from underwater or from deep thoughts. He has the ability to become completely absorbed in things, and this is the way he looks when I say his name, when I finally get his attention.
I can see the shadows of his baby face in that picture, too. Just a little. The raised eyebrows, the dark eyes, slightly wrinkled forehead, pink cheeks still a little jowly.
And I can see him running toward manhood. This picture.....
....stopped my heart. Maybe because his face is shadowed, indistinct. I can see in the shadows what he'll look like when he's twelve, when he's eighteen, when he's twenty-five and he's really not my baby at all any more. Just a little, just like I can still see in his face the baby he was.
Aw, man. Now I'm all teary. I wish I had a pause button. I'd stop right here for a little while, at eight.
I'm a little afraid that by tomorrow, he'll be nine.
Life is good.