Where did he go, my big bundle of joy that wouldn't let me put him down for the first 7 months?
He's been replaced by a third-grader, who would live on Doritos if I let him.
Where did he go, the sweet babe that slept through the night and always finished his baby food?
He's been replaced by a 9 (gasp!), 9-year-old who loves playing goalie on his soccer team.
Where did he go, the little tyke that would play with plastic dump trucks in the sandbox with his brother?
He's been replaced by a younger brother who towers (although we try not to mention this too much) over his older brother and could probably beat him to a pulp if we allowed it.
Where did he go, the little boy that I used to read "Go, Dog, Go!" to every night?
He's been replaced by an independent reader who is more interested in Judy Blume than P.D. Eastman.
Where did he go, the preschooler who was afraid to sing in front of an audience of adoring parents and grandparents?
He's been replaced by a music student who informed me recently that he will be one of the boys dancing on stage for his school's winter performance.
Where did he go, the little boy who needed me all the time?
He didn't go anywhere, he's right here needing me as much as he ever did, just in different ways. Nine-year-old ways. I cannot believe that nine years have passed since he entered this world. He is my empathetic one, my sensitive child, my justice-seeker. He is the great balancer between his brother and sister. He is their rock. He is our rock. And yet, he will melt like butter if he thinks he's made a bad decision (whether it be on the soccer field or in everyday life). It is this characteristic, this piece of his personality that inspires me most, and teaches me when I least expect it to.
The other night, while clearing his dinner dishes from the table, he dropped and broke one of our plates.
I yelled immediately, for fear of somebody's bare foot being cut by the broken pieces before I could clean all of them up.
Wyatt bolted up the stairs to his room. He thought I was mad.
I followed him, making it very clear to Katie that she not move from her seat until mommy gets this mess cleaned up.
"What's wrong honey?"
His face was all red, tears were streaming down his little freckled cheeks, "It was one of your wedding plates, and I broke it".
"Hey", I said getting him to look at me, "Hey, it was just a plate buddy. Just a plate. It doesn't matter."
"But you yelled."
"I'm sorry that scared you, I yelled because I didn't want you to step in the broken pieces and cut your foot. I can replace a plate, if you get hurt though, I'd be really sad."
He is my teacher. My balancer. My son. And I am so lucky to have him in my life, for without him, I know that I would not be whole.
Happy 9th Birthday Wyatt.