Isaac loves flat-brimmed hats and Christian hip-hop. He loves Harry Potter and Percy Jackson and biographies. He loves throwing balls and snowboarding. He loves his siblings and cousins and grandparents and aunts and uncles. He loves cards and board games. He loves spicy food and burgers. His laugh. Oh, his laugh.
I want to memorize him and soak him up and keep him for always. Because there just isn't enough time.
Last night at bedtime I hugged him and kissed him and told him I loved him. And I just didn't want to let go. Because zero to eleven happened in a jiffy and I can only imagine the warp speed at which eleven to eighteen will occur. In fact, I don't want to imagine that.
You know what I do to make the days feel just a wee bit longer? I try to live them. Really live them. I try to be right where I say I am. We play catch and throw rocks in the creek, read chapter books before bedtimes and discuss them at breakfast. It isn't perfect. It is life after all. But it is wonderful. I just hope that I'll look back on the years I have with my kids and know that I spent my time wisely. I am learning to go on dates with my husband to set a strong example of marriage and love for them. I go on runs and read books to come back a better, refreshed, and more relaxed mama and wife for the five people I am so beyond fortunate to call my family. I make mistakes and ask for forgiveness and hope the love I feel in my heart is felt by these five beautiful people. I thank God every day for this life. This fleeting, blink of an eye, beautiful life.
They place that baby on your chest and you think you have so much time. In spite of all the people who tell you it goes so quickly. And then you wake up and it's been eleven beautiful, frustrating, exquisite, fantastic years. And you're so darn thankful for every last one of them, even the days that challenged you. Because let's be real; there are days that challenge you.
So today we're celebrating Isaac on his golden birthday. It's one brand-spanking-new 11-year-old, six family members, one full Suburban, and a three day trip to Steamboat for skiing and snowboarding. We sent him on a scavenger hunt to find out his gift yesterday so we could pack and leave bright and early today. He just kept saying, "This is the best birthday ever and it's not even my birthday yet!"
He is the boy who made us parents. The boy who changed our lives in the very best way. He is Isaac. Laughter. Light. Beauty. Kindness. Our oldest son. And for that, we count ourselves as some of the luckiest people on the planet.