Eden turned Nine years old on the 13th of this month.
There are not enough ways to say how much I love this little boy who is quickly becoming a little man. His birth absolutely and completely altered my life, in ways I could not have anticipated and in ways that I still cannot fully comprehend. I am grateful every. single. day. that I have been fortunate enough to be his mother and I know for a fact that I have learned just as much from him as he has ever learned from me, if not more.
When I look back and think about the day he was born, I am flooded with so many emotions. Being a "teenage mom" is a condition that seems to follow you no matter how many years pass. Seeing the look on my friends faces when they came to visit me in the hospital, the shock and awkwardness of our 18 year old selves around this tiny, pink person who symbolized by his presence the uncrossable divide between their reality and mine. Holding him and feeling the deepest kind of love mixed with the deepest sense of "oh-dear-god-what-have-I-done". The mixture of what I had lost with what I had gained, the certainty that I knew nothing combined with the certainty that I must not fail, the feeling that I must be dreaming conflicting with the undeniable reality of dirty diapers and feedings around the clock.
Luckily for me, he was the best baby anyone could ask for. Eden cried only when absolutely necessary, he woke up happy, spent most of his time content, and seemed endlessly patient with me as I bumbled about trying to figure out this whole mothering thing. He still is. He always wanted to be held and cuddled, he smiled early, talked early, and never learned to crawl because we never put him down. He did however master the art of butt-scooching in order to get around a bit before he decided at about 14 months that it was time to start walking. Eden always did things his own way in his own time, and when he was done with something he was DONE. One day he was simply done breastfeeding at about 10 months, another day he was done co-sleeping and never slept in my bed again (unless he had a bad dream as he got older, of course!), the same went for his sippy cup and his crib. Done and done, just like that all of the sudden. When hes ready and its time, things happen. When hes not ready and its not time, I assure you things will not. Thats just how it goes with him.
In the years since he has acquired both a younger brother and a younger sister. He is an outstanding big brother, patient and helpful, playful and creative, loving and kind. He has a tendency towards bossiness, but what kind of big brother would he be if he didn't? He knows how he is supposed to treat his siblings, and when he falls short the person who is hardest on him is himself. He is always quick to comfort when they are in need, encourage when they are down, and give hugs and kisses just because. I know how much he loves them, and they know it too. Its a beautiful thing to see.
Yesterday we were able to go out to dinner for his birthday, just him and me. Special mommy time is hard to come by these days. We talked and laughed, planned Halloween costumes and Dean's homecoming. He even ate almost his entire dinner and he proclaimed his hamburger to be "the best burger I have EVER eaten! I especially love the salty crusty bits!" Afterwards we went to Toys R Us to spend some birthday card money, and it was nice to just be able to walk the isles giving him the time to really examine his toy options and make a selection at his leisure. Returning home we had cookie cake and ice cream with everyone else. It was a wonderful evening.
Here are a couple photos, Eden at 10 days old and Eden today.