And while I thought I was busy making his week special, I look back and realize how special he made mine.
I pulled him from school for our birthday lunch date. When I put him back out to finish his day, reliably as ever, he turned at the school door to throw me one last wave and smile.
I wait for it.
Like we both need that shared moment.
He's playing basketball on the middle school team currently. I arrived for his game last week and the minute I entered the gym, he bounded over the bleachers to show me where he'd saved a seat for Charlotte, Eliza and I to watch.
"Can't have you sitting beside any boys, or anyone young ... or anyone my age
... they just don't know how to behave in the presence of moms around here."
At least he's looking out for me.
New babies are generally third wheels on date night around here. Last week, Newel really wanted to see the new James Bond movie. I didn't want to be left behind. We thought if we could get Charlotte off to sleep, we might easily slip away for a late showing.
She had other plans.
I emerged from trying to get her settled and suggested Christian .. the only big kid home for the evening .. take my ticket and go with Newel, since it was looking impossible.
"I've got this." he said and entered the dark room where Charlotte was fussing herself to sleep despite being newly fed. After a minute, there was silence and he slowly danced into the darkened hallway with sleeping baby in his arms.
"You go." He nodded, "I'll text you if there's trouble."
And we did, then returned to find all quiet and calm.
"Did you have fun?" ... "Did she cry?" we asked each other simultaneously. "Nothing I couldn't handle." he assured me, "besides, I didn't want to ruin your date. I hope it was great."
I thought my heart would burst out of my chest with love for this kid.
Even though he hates my picture taking.
And he frustrates the heck out of me at times.
And he keeps making my 5 foot 8 inch frame look smaller and smaller.
I can't even express how much I love him.
Happy Birthday, Christian.