Time goes fast.
It’s a cliche, I know, but it’s also very, very true.
It’s January, and you turn around and suddenly it’s November and everyone is talking Christmas.
You have a baby, blink, and he’s seven.
I try not to think about it too much, because Patrick is doing what he’s supposed to do - growing up, going to school, making friends, being curious about the world, asking me about who controls souls (yes, really) … that kind of thing.
One of the things that he’s still … wee? small? young enough to want are big, big cuddles. He comes up to me with his big blue eyes, and his spray of freckles across his nose, and says “I want to be on you, Mummy.”
And one day, one day in the not-too-distant future, I’m going to turn around, or I’m going to blink, and I’m not going to remember when the last time was he asked me that question. Asking to be lifted up on to my lap for a cuddle, even though he’s only a head shorter than me now. When he does do that, my favourite thing for myself to do is to spread my fingers over his ribcage, and feel him breathing, in … out … in … out
I think about how I grew him. How I pretty much fell in love the second I saw the positive test, and how, when I finally held him for the first time as a baby, I realised that here was the person I would die for if I had to. I would walk in front of a train for him without thinking.
It’s a profound, and terrifying thought.
Now, he’s seven, and has his own quirks, and charms, and interests. But he’s still small enough to need to crawl on to my lap; still young enough to need the reassurance of my arm around him, still wee enough that I can spread my hand over his ribcage and feel him breathing, in … out … in … out
The day will come that I no longer get to do that. He’ll be too old, too big, too eager for bigger things.
Meanwhile, I hold on to what I can, without holding him back, I hope.
I put my hand on his ribcage - a ribcage that I formed - and I feel him breathing. In … out … in … out