“Are you Mommy’s little monkey?”
“No! I not,” my little Jedidiah answers.
“Well, are you a little stinker, then?”
“No! I not dat eider!” he yells, jumping up and down.
“Then what are you?” I ask.
He runs over to me, throws his little arms around my neck and says, “I Mommy’s baby boy!”
I’ve been procrastinating about writing this down because it makes my heart hurt. Today my baby boy turns three years old. He’s my youngest and probably my last, and I love him so much that I almost can’t stand it.
When he’s asleep, I sneak into his room and hold his pudgy little hand that’s stained with green magic marker. I look at his angelic little face and his perfect nose and his chubby cheeks and little boy hair cut. He snuggles with his dinosaur and his “Mousie” that’s really a koala bear. His “fuzzy” (a tiny piece of blue-green yarn from his favorite blanket) is in between his thumb and index finger so he can roll it back and forth and put it next to his nose. His Farmer for a Day book and Animal Babies book are stacked on his nightstand next to his toy train engine, a matchbox car and a plastic tiger.
What is it about this little boy that is so amazingly wonderful? Is it his boundless energy? His rambunctious zest for life? His love for all things dirty and messy and fast and loud? His ability to tear up an anvil with a rubber hammer? The way he loves to watch football and play beanbags? The way he wants to do “work” with Dad and bring his little tool box and his backpack along?
Or maybe it’s how he always says, “I help you, Mom?” And “Good mo-nin’ Dad!” or the way he loves to snuggle first thing in the morning “under da covers.”
Or maybe it’s how he’s so amazed by the world, like the first time he saw the night sky unimpeded by any light pollution: “Ahh! Stars! Wook! Stars! Stars ever-where! Ohhhh. I want dose stars.”
Or the way he runs all over the place, because there’s so much to do! So much to see! So much life to live!
Or his innate funniness, like when I had both hands (and arms) full of library books, towels, lunchboxes, sand toys and a beach umbrella and I asked him if he could open the door for me. He pointed to the single tiny inflatable arm-floatie he was holding and said, “I can’t. I got dis.”
Or when I was helping him dry off after his bath and he wanted me to hold him “like a baby.” I wrapped him up in his towel and held him. With his hair covered up, his little face looked like it did two years ago and he DID look like a baby. I squeezed him and teared up. He said, “You cwyin’ Mom? Why you sad?” I said, “I just love you so much. Sometimes my heart fills up so full that the love comes out of my eyes.” He looked at me and said, “Huh. You weird, Mom.”
Whatever the reason, I have been beyond blessed for the past three years with this incredible little person. The name Jedidiah means “friend of God.” I pray that he will grow into that name. But no matter how big he gets, what he does, where he goes or how many birthdays he has, there’s something else that he will ALWAYS be:
Mommy’s baby boy.