I remember you on your blanket on the floor and you were on your stomach when I left the room and on your back when I returned. I yelled at dad and told him NOT to put you on your back. He said, "I didn't turn him over!" So, we hid in the kitchen and watched you as you wriggled your way back over to our tummy again. Then to your back. Then to your tummy again. That's the day that we realized you were growing up and changing and going to be on the GO from that moment on.
And, grow you did.
When you were born, due to the heavy amounts of medication they gave me to keep my blood pressure down (and from, we were told later, nearly dying) you were sluggish and dopey at first. Your arms and legs were like lead weights and if you skipped a breath oh well, you didn't care. They whisked you away from me for almost twelve hours before they let me even see you again. Now I know better - I should have stood up and said, 'BRING ME MY BABY NOW!" They sent me home five days before they let you go home. I found myself in an empty house without my baby. I was a mess. When they finally agreed to let you go home, the put you on an Apnea Monitor to monitor your breathing. If you were to ever stop breathing, the monitor would have gone off with a Screeeech to awake us so we could have called 9-11 or start to administer CPR. But in the entire year you wore that monitor, it only went off one time. And when we got to your crib, you were sitting up, holding the probes that attached to your chest and grinning ear to ear. You were fine. Mom and Dad, however, needed a drink.
Your first day of Kindergarten was the first time you had ever been away from Mom. Oh, you had been with your Grandma Baw, but never to preschool or to a babysitter. That first day of Kindergarten was so hard on you. And even harder on me. When you came home, you were sobbing and you asked, "When....can...I..stay...home...with...you...again...forever?" Broke. My. Heart. Even though it was hard on you, you went back to school. You made friends - in fact everyone loved you because you were so very shy and quiet. The kids watched out for you and never let anyone pick on you. They knew you would speak when spoken to, but you weren't going to start any conversations. You teachers loved you. You won all the awards for being courteous, for projects, for being a great overall kid. Once, a teacher that didn';t know you hurt your feelings and made you cry. The entire class told your regular teacher what happened. When she apologized to me, she had tears in her eyes. "No one hurts Christopher's feelings. No one!" Elementary School was great.
Middle School was not.
When you asked me that question in Kindergarten about staying home with me again forever, I never would have guessed the answer was 6th grade. But it was. We began our adventure together again. There are things I should have done better and things I did great. But, the one thing I do know is that you are one great kid. One great person. One great man. You are kind to a fault. You are smart. So very smart. You still only speak when spoken to and you aren't going to start up any conversations on your own. You have helped me through tough times and I hope I have helped you. I don't know if Mom's and sons are supposed to be as close as you and me, but they really should be. You are a joy to me and I love you more than you will ever know.