The day before Topher's fifth birthday, he began getting upset.
I don't want to turn five, mommy.
Scapel to the chest.
I want to stay four forever.
Ignore the pain and promise Topher that five is a wonderful age to be.
There are so many fun things to look forward to in the coming year.
Wipe away his tears and try not to dissolve into his quivering chin.
Well, mommy, when we get back to Heaven can you tell Jesus that I want to be four again?
Stomp on it.
Yes, Topher, I will tell Him. I promise.
The next day, we were able to have a wonderful little family celebration. We ate out at Hickory Park. We gave him some presents. He started understanding that five didn't feel much different than four. Five had some advantages. Five came with gifts.
But secretly, if I could have stopped time the night before, right at that cusp between four and five, I would have. Of course I would.
What a beautiful boy we have. What a blessing the past five years have been.
Watching Topher use his birthday gifts to practice his ninja skills helps peel my heart off the floor and squish it back inside.
But I also know that each birthday is a little reminder of what you cannot have back.
And I know that part of my soul will always stay with my forever-four baby.
Happy birthday to the little boy we couldn't possibly live without.