Perhaps if I had kept having babies I wouldn't be so bittersweetly aware of how you have grown.
Distracted with little ones, I might not notice how your body moves through space differently these days, how you nearly match me in height and strength and size.
But I'm certain that I would.
Perhaps if you went to school this transition into bigness would be more subtle.
Apart each day, I might not notice you exploring the edges where childhood and adulthood mingle.
But I'm sure that with more time apart that awareness would only be stronger.
Or perhaps if I were more distracted with work and life it would be easier to miss this unfolding.
And I might not ache so deeply as I bear witness to your growing up.
But with more time in different worlds I'd surely find even more reasons to grieve.
But grief is the wrong word, really. Isn't it? Because it's not grief at all at the heart of this longing. It is love that we find at it's core.
A love that I never knew existed until I became a mother those fourteen years ago. It changed me in ways I never expected. And for that I am always grateful.
It is a love that transformed me from woman into mother. A love so immense it's almost disorienting. A love that tears us down, then rebuilds us again with a new sense purpose, of our power to change the world, and a radically different sense of self.
So mostly what I feel as I watch you become is love. So much love that my heart could burst, as I stand by watching the years spiral around us as you transform before my eyes.
And suddenly, today, you are fourteen.
So I will whisper a prayer that you linger a moment longer in this slow childhood of yours; the only childhood you have ever known. There's never been a reason for you to rush, and for that I am so grateful. I watch as you stand with one foot in each world, part boy and part man.
And as you do I will continue doing the only thing I've ever really know how to do as a mother: love you, enjoy you, marvel at who you've become, savor the moments we still get to share.
And continue to be thankful for walking beside you along this beautiful path toward adulthood.
Happy Birthday, Sage. I'm honored and humbled to have you call me your mama.
You have taught me more than you may ever know.