Five years ago I was huge. I was perpetually hot. I was swollen so badly, it's amazing the woodpecker that thinks the vinyl on my neighbors trim is yummy did not try to snack on my ankles. My blood pressure was starting to creep to the 'danger zone.' I had a month left to go before life changed completely. At least in theory.
On June 28th, 2002 I would check into the hospital a very pregnant woman with pregnancy induced hyper-tension. On June 30th I'd simply be woman that to used to have high-blood pressure and who had a nifty excuse for not fitting into last year's summer wardrop. I'd also be holding the smallest human being I'd ever seen.
Logan wasn't as preemie. He was considered full-term albeit born before his due-date. He was not "small" as newborns go. He was decidedly within the realm of "average" size - and yet he was the first person I'd ever seen within seconds of birth. Those long, tiny fingers that wrapped so very tightly around my own. Those eyelids that would press so tightly together at the first hint of light. The toes that would spread and stretch if you rubbed the arch of his foot.
He was an alert baby from the get-go. Those big blue eyes staring not just at you, but into you. Logan always had the "wise old man" look from the start. The gaze that made you feel as if he knew all he needed to or could at least take in enough to fill in the blanks for himself.
He was a happy boy. When he cried it was clearly for a reason. He was rarely fussy for the sake of being so. As he grew he displayed a natural curiosity about most things, albeit a comfort level in having someone tackle the mundane for him. I mean really, he *could* dress himself a lot sooner than he actually did so with regularity. . . but those buttons got in the way of some really good play time.
He's not "quite" five yet - but he may as well be. Yesterday was his birthday party - quite early in the grand scheme of things and yet just the right time. The early celebration meant avoiding "summer vacation overlap" that can crop up for "summer babies." He had a nice group of 5 friends from school join us for cake and loads of play. I sat back marveling over how 5, 5-year old boys (or close enough to 5 yrs old) could get along so well. Granted, all of them need to perfect the "Look before you swing the plastic bat and whack the other guy in the head instead of the ball" concept.
Tomorrow I will take Logan to preschool one last time. I'm not sure if I'll manage to do so without tears. He's grown so much these two years at this school. He's made friends that did not involve my 'blind playdate' intervention on his behalf. He's grown more independent in ways it's hard for me to fathom him doing as I look at those earliest photos of him lying with clenched fists and knees pulled in tight to abs.
It's almost not the same person.
And yet it is.
Today, when he tips his head, wrinkles his brow and scrunches his nose as he envelopes himself in the deep concentration of study, I see that same little child. The one that could furrow a brow as he shifted weight from side to side in an attempt to flip over. When Logan's smile takes full possession of his countenance, I see the infant that would fill with pride over getting his toes in his own mouth or at sitting upright for the first time. When he struggles with a new task, shaking fists in frustration before trying again, I see the boy that would take a first step and fall, only to lift his arms for help up so he could give it another go.
This is just a new beginning in what is still the beginning of his life. This milestone, this prime moment for reflection, will likely be dwarfed by future moments - 'bigger' graduations, dates, cars, jobs, marriages, etc. This is nothing in the grand scheme, and yet it's everything. It's standing at the end of an era and start of another.
It won't be a last day looking to the walls of these classrooms to identify the 'right' art project. In three short months Megan will begin her tenure in that same arena. And yet, it is *his* last time and for some reason, that's hitting me more than I expected it would.