I used to call this kid my Jeff-Baby. And now I sit watching him setting up green army men and find myself searching for a glimpse of the baby he was just yesterday.
His ankles peek through the ever shortening hem of jeans that fit perfectly last week. His fingers aren't near as pudgy as they grasp my hand to cross the street.
He can reach the things I try to hide up on shelves and counters. He remembers more than I do. He doesn't cry as much for Mommy when he scrapes his knee. He knows letters and numbers and how many fruit snacks he has left if he had six and I snuck two.
I tuck him in bed and he asks, "What's Jeff?" This questions has many responses, such as, "Jeff is Mommy's Superman, or Mommy's Iron Man, etc." And with his satisfied grin, I see the baby leaving faster with the growing bravery and manliness.
And yet, there's those precious moments, when that great big growing guy grabs his blue blanket and crawls in my lap searching for my hand, my right hand, not my "ouchy hand" (he doesn't like the feel of the diamond on my ring while holding hands.) And I look down at those perfect lashes and soft cheeks and see a glimpse of the Jeff-Baby he will always be in my heart.
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