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A Boy Named Colin. My Son.

Mom, I’m going to work over here.

My son said to me while we were clearing the snow from our drive and sidewalks recently.

Ok, babe, that’s great. You’re a wonderful helper, is how I responded.

There are moments I forget HE IS ONLY SIX YEARS OLD. This was one of them.  

He’s always been a busy kid, an active kid, and even a fussy kid when he couldn’t yet speak. He was the one that as an infant I had to position in front of the dishwasher to get him to calm and sleep. He was the first to eat oatmeal. The first to crawl. The first to walk. The one that knew his ABCs and performed Old McDonald’s Farm with his Little Tikes guitar at just two years old. He was the one that would try to cram as much as he could into his little arms and carry it around endlessly.

And he started negotiating his food consumption at a very young age, which I’m sure this is absolutely my fault. I know every mom can relate to the dinner table talk – if you just eat four more bites, or two bites of chicken and three bites of broccoli, you can have a piece of candy.

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We’ve all been there. And now even at six, he will still ask me, how many more bites? Except now my response is just all of it, unless it’s a day where I feel too beaten down. Then I might respond, I really don’t care. On these days he gets his dessert anyway.

He is one of my triplets, was the largest and was born first, even if only by a few kilograms and just three minutes. I told him once he was the oldest when they asked about their birth story. And he hasn’t let that go. He now says he is the big brother, even though they are technically the same age.

When I was still pregnant with the trips, he was the one that would move the most. Throwing dance parties, is how I would describe it to them later. He liked that. He was the mover and the shaker. After they were born at just 25 weeks and 12 inches long, he would kick out of his blankets in the NICU and stretch his legs. Even at that young and early age, I was convinced he would be a soccer player (However I did put him in a soccer program at four and I’m not so convinced anymore).

And no matter how ‘old’ or grown he becomes, he will always be my baby. My son.

The one who will sit on my lap and pull his legs up wanting me to squeeze him as tight as I can.

The one who sobbed controllably when he accidentally swallowed his first loose tooth once it finally came out.

The one who wants me to rub his bare back at bedtime.

The one who will very easily cry when something doesn’t quite go his way.

The one who still wants to hold my hand.

The one who gives me a kiss on my head for no reason … because that is what I do to him.

The one who still makes artwork for his triplet brother Benjamin, even though he died in 2016.

He is also the one who wants me to quiz him with multiplication problems … even though they are only learning simple addition and subtraction in first grade.

The one who will march out into the middle of the mat at his gymnastics meets and perform his Level 4 routine in front of judges like it’s no big deal.

The one who lays his clothes out the night before so he can get dressed as soon as he gets up in the morning.

The one who relishes his job as the ‘man of the house’ when his daddy is away.

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The one who gets the mail, unloads the dishwasher, brings in the trashcans, starts his load of laundry, feeds the dogs, and even tries to clean up doggie poop messes when they happen in the house…. Because he just wants to be helpful.

And he is the one who makes me want to give up and quit my job as a mom probably at least once a week. He’s stubborn, ‘always right’, the negotiator, and very emotional and strong-willed.

But right now, he is the perfect yummy mix of young man and small child. He needs his mommy, but he yearns to learn, grow and claim his spot in his young world.

The past six years are a big blur. I’m not even sure what got us to this point in life. I just know he and his sister are growing up way too fast, and I wish I could photograph every single moment or detail to recall them later.

I just pray that he will stay sweet, stay strong, stay sensitive, and stay smart. My boy.

Elizabeth GerlachComment