Out of the mouths of babes

Ethan has been a little under the weather for the past few days, running a fever, headache and just not himself. So he's been waking up at night and crying out for me. I force myself jump out of bed and head upstairs to comfort him each time.

The first night he did this, he whined "I just want someone to lay with me for a little bit". So I snuggle up close to him in his bed, wishing his miseries away. It doesn't matter what time it is, I will never turn down an opportunity to snuggle with my boys. I was loving it.

Ethan turned away and said "Mommy?"

"Yes love?"

And then the whopper. "You can get up now...your breath stinks."

The next night, he beckoned again. I checked my breath in my hand. Not too bad.  (Come on people, who's breath doesn't smell after a few hours of sleep?) I hoped this would extend our snuggle time.

"Mommy will you lay with me?"

"Sure sweetie, for a few minutes."

A minute or so went by and I almost dozed off in his bed. But then...

"Okay mommy, you can go now. That's all the minutes I can take."

What a stinker!

Ethan's birthday

Ethan turned 4 last week, ending the short span of time each year when I have two kids the same age that aren't twins.

Yeah. I know.

I'd be at the park chatting with other moms who would ask me how old they were and I'd get confused looks when I'd reply "They're both three". I'd always have to immediately respond with "they are 11 months apart" and then I'd anticipate their next question by adding "nope, not really planned that way".

Ethan is a spectacular kid. He has the ability to make my hair stand on end and my ears steam and in the next instant melt my heart into a puddle. He has always had charisma. As a baby people would stop me in the middle of Target and comment on how his eyes were so bright and full of life. He made my debut into parenting simple, joyful and quite amazing.

As I watch my boys grow up right before my eyes, there is a sense of peace that I feel seeing their relationship develop. Sure they fight and bicker with the best of them but it is so beautiful to see just how much love exists between them. Ethan is so sensitive of others feelings, a quality I'm sure will both earn him life-long friends as well as make him a wonderful spouse and father one day.

If I didn't get it before, I get it now. Being the mother of boys is so very bittersweet. He is only four for gosh sakes but I already tear up hearing songs that I imagine us dancing to at his wedding. I think about having to let him go one day and it makes me a mess. And yet I know that if I have done my job right, he will always know he is my little boy at heart.

Four years has felt like a lifetime in terms of dirty diapers, potty training, sticky fingers, spilled milk and bandaids. As much as I may tire of it day in and day out, I know one day I'll want it all back. So I will try to live each day in the moment - with eyes as bright as my sweet first-born child's.

Goodbye three-year-old Ethan. I can't wait to experience all the adventures of four.