Suddenly, hanging out with my son has become fun.
Not that I didn't always enjoy it. From the moment I saw him when he was born, I was addicted to him. I craved being with him---a physical ache that would only abate when I was holding him, kissing him, nursing him, smelling his sweet scent. We did everything together when he was a baby....I never had a nanny or full-time babysitter, and in fact, only left him with a babysitter for a "date-night" with J a handful of times.
When A was born (when D was 26 months old) our time together changed drastically. First of all, with A in the hospital for 4 of her first 5 months of life, a lot of my time was spent away from D, bedside at Children's Hospital. We had family come in weekly, on a rotating basis, from out-of-state to help care for him while we were at the hospital with A. Also, that same summer, D started summer camp at our synagogue, and transitioned into the 2-year-old preschool program in September. So in both natural (school) and unnatural (A's medical issues) ways, my time with D became less than it was when it was just the two of us. However, even when A was in the NICU, I always made it a point to be home all afternoon with D, and there for bedtime. I would visit A in the hospital in the mornings, when he was at camp/school or a relative was watching him, then come home and spend all day afternoon with him, do dinner/bath/bedtime with him, and go back to the hospital after he went to sleep. So even then, I tried as hard as possible to spend good, quality time with my precious son.
But I digress.
Our time together has morphed into more fun for me. Not that playing Candyland wasn't fun (well, really it wasn't, but it was fun being with D) but it really wasn't my scene. Now that he is 6, and is going into first grade (!) in the fall, he is really getting grown up, and in turn more fun to hang out with. He asks intelligent questions, understands my explanations, and really "gets" things now. His sense of humor is developing (ok, he is really into making up nonsensical knock-knock jokes, but HE thinks he is funny) and he has evolved past Candyland to Monopoly and Jenga.
As much as I hate losing the baby in him I know that every stage is fun (and challenging!). He is becoming a real little person, with his own opinions and personality, and it's really fun to see. I love discovering how much of me he has in him (for example, he is an adrenaline junkie and loves roller coasters; he loves reading series of books and has to read each book in the intended order; he loves collections of things and wants complete sets). It is easier letting go of the baby, knowing that this older first-grader is here and is just as fun, if not more so.
The best part is that he still wants to marry me, still thinks am beautiful, and to this day will tell me "Mama, you're the best mom a boy could ever have". How could I NOT want to hang out with a child like that?
7 hours ago