My baby, my youngest, turns 7 today.

There is a cozy little house inside me where the rooms have large windows and deep chairs; everything whitewashed and sunlit, warm and inviting. I've come and gone from this little house during my life. It's a place of quiet intimacy where God whispers through every thought, each breath.

As Matthew has grown, this little home has slowly closed up. After his birth I cradled him as we moved from one room to the next, as I'd done with my other babies, but this time the light went out behind us, the door closing as we moved along. With the realization that my body would never again be home to a growing, stretching, kicking little person - that gift would not come my way again - the door to that miraculous space clicked and locked as I moved on, cradling my last newborn baby.

The hungry little thing stopped breastfeeding and again I held him in my arms, pulling another door shut behind me on a most precious, intimate, defining experience.

He took his first steps, holding my fingers, leading me on to the next room. I smiled, though I felt without looking the lights fading out at my back.

I have moved through his firsts that are for me, also lasts - smiles, teeth, words, songs, prayers, Pull-Ups, vaccinations, bicycles, school...

Him marching happily along growing up has been precious to me all the more because I felt the little house dampening her lights one by one, hinges creaking in the wake of his confident stride, raucous giggles, and bent towards destruction. My last firsts were being completed and we went hand in tiny hand.

He is 7 today and that is a big number. All that was left in the cozy little house was one small lighted window in an upper corner somewhere. Yesterday, his last day to be 6, Matthew winked at me. His first wink. And poof! He's a boy. We live in a new place.

He is such a blessing. Affectionate and bold, strong and sweet. And those toffee colored eyes - his father's eyes. While I'm sad I won't again traipse through this sunlit house where things grow so easily and with such breathtaking speed, Matty has been the perfect little one to lead me on my last tour of the place.

Seven Years!

With his big sister
With his big brother
With Daddy
"The Walk." The arm swinging, confident stride.

Yep, that's him!
Need I say more?

My Cowboy.

The darling angel...

His first baseball practice.

He loves adventure! He's up for anything!

This happened...

I blinked and then this happened.
Me and my baby. I'm sorry buddy but you will still be my baby when you're 40...

You sweet thing.


De said...

Well, this was a perfect post for me to catch up with you. I remember those pictures of Matthew when he was small (not exactly small...). My son is eight 1/2, and I've noticed the lights going off behind me, too. I can relate to your analogy. However, it's exciting to me that we still have so many very important firsts ahead of us.

Enjoy your slice of cake!

Lori said...

This made me teary. Happy Birthday Matthew! I love you and your mom so much.

Sarah said...

Tears for sure!! Love all your babies, sweet momma!! I can't believe how he's grown.

Sarah said...

Tears for sure!! Love all your babies, sweet momma! I can't believe how he's grown. No longer a baby but a very handsome boy.

Pamela M. Kramer - A Renaissance Woman said...

He's adorable! Glad to see the update.

Pamela M. Kramer - A Renaissance Woman said...

He's adorable! Glad to see the update.

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