Late Saturday night, I was thinking about that same night five years ago.
On July 7, 2013, my husband, Keith, and I wrapped up the final details in nursery decorations. We stocked the changing table with diapers, wipes, and various creams. We fluffed the pillows, strategically placed baby toys given by friends and family, and displayed family photos and the last ultrasound picture we received the day before. The ultrasound frame was engraved with “Love at First Sight.”
Scheduled to be at the hospital for a C-section the next morning at 6 a.m., Keith and I went to bed a little early, but neither of us slept. It was like waiting for Christmas morning, but with an overwhelming anxiety.
It is funny what you remember about the time surrounding milestones in your life. I remember my fear of the unknown – I’d never had a surgical procedure before. I remember the worry I endured just thinking about my unborn son.
And I remember the rush of emotion – a mixture of fierce protectiveness and adoration – as they laid that chubby 10 pound, 10 ounce baby on my chest. Almost immediately, he lifted his head and looked at me. They were my own eyes looking up at me. And it was love at first sight.
Sunday, that precious baby boy turned five years old. And although he will always be my baby boy, my Dean is a little boy – a five-year-old going on 20.
Not long after dawn Sunday, my husband and I were awakened to a shout of “I’m five!” Dean was lying between us, and not a minute after his exclamation, he was back snoring until a more reasonable hour.
We celebrated his big day with a trip to Southaven to my mother’s house where Dean enjoyed swimming, a cookout, and cake and ice cream. His favorite part? The gifts.
My sister Stephanie, who has never said no to the child, bought him Legos. I’m sure in the near future, Keith and I will be lucky enough to step on one of those Legos barefoot. My sister Deana got him DVDs, a new giant rubber duckie pool float and chocolate, and his grandmother, Ann Ferguson, brought him an enormous shark float. Dean would live in the pool if we let him.
With his actual party (more gifts) still a couple weeks away, Keith and I decided to let Dean pick out a present himself from the store. Surprisingly, he didn’t go for the biggest and flashiest toy on the shelf. He picked a collection of action figures to fuel his big imagination.
When Dean was a baby, I dreamed of actually having a conversation with him. What would he be like? Would he be outgoing like me? Would he have a great sense of humor like his father? Would he inherit his grandfather’s no-nonsense attitude? Would he get a heaping helping of my momma’s sass?
Oh, he is sassy, and he has never met a stranger. He is smart as a whip, and much to my dismay, he has no problem telling you if you are wrong. He laughs often, and loves to pull pranks – something he got from his Aunt Steph. He is very dramatic – a trait he gets honest from both sides of the family, and he can weave a tall tale like a pro. And like me, every emotion he has is written all over his mischievous face.
Dean keeps us in stitches, and every single day is a new adventure.
Five years went by quick, and I pray time slows down. I haven’t been able to pick him up for a while, but I can still hold him on my lap. He still needs mommy’s kisses when he is hurt or frightened, and he still goes to sleep most nights holding my hand.
Someone said, “A son will surely outgrow his mother`s lap. But he will never outgrow his place in her heart.”
Well, it was love at first sight.