Cry Me a Freakin’ River: Part Two

“It’s only hair,” I keep whispering every time this small boy comes strolling by. He glances up at me out of the corner of his eye and gives me that mischevious grin and I blink back the tears. “It’s only hair. It’s only hair. It’s only hair.”

That is my mantra.

I got Landon’s hair cut this weekend and in doing so, I went ahead and ripped my heart out and handed it to him. He’s carrying it around in his back pocket now…

Geez, Kelli.  Get a grip.  It’s only a haircut.

You’re right.  It is only a haircut.  But it also is one more step forward out of babydom and I’ve told you before, I’m not ready for these toddler years to end.  Everytime I look at Landon, I still see this kid:

And this one:


But somewhere along the way, my baby with the Bieber hair turned into a boy with opinions.  He possesses clarity and wit and can connect events and moments together in a coherent manner.  He is one month from four and I am fighting off a minor panic attack.

“I wanna hab thpike haiwr,” he told me as we walked into the salon.  And I fought off tears as I watched the stylist shave off his long surfer dude locks and give him the big boy spiked haircut he desired.  I knew in doing so, we were officially saying goodbye to the baby.

I don’t know what it is about this kid, but he has had me wrapped, tied and sewn around his little finger since the day he came squalling into the world.  He is a delight and of the three, he is the one I most long to hold back…to slow down.  Sloan has always been so big and advanced that watching him grow and get older, while still emotional, has been exciting.  I can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

Tia has developed so many interesting and beautiful traits in the last year that I am delighting in her growth.

But Landon…

Maybe it’s because he’s the baby.  Perhaps it’s due to the fact that he’s such a munchkin that I sometime forget he’s almost four.  It could be that he’s the most affectionate of the three, still wanting to snuggle close throughout the day.

Whatever the case, he’s the one that makes me long for a pause button.  I wish I could just make time stop, so I could really, truly cherish the moments when he presses his soft cheek to mine.

Before his cheeks thin out and his torso lengthens, I want to just hold him and breathe him in.  Before his muscles are defined and he develops the sinewy body of a little man, I want to tickle his Buddha belly and feel the powdery soft flesh of his arms.  I want to hear his laugh and memorize his movements.  I want to kiss his nose and feel his tiny hand pressed in mine.  I want to feel the warmth of his weight snuggled against my chest in the darkness of the early morning.

I want every one of those moments to be doubled.

He wanted to stop taking pictures. I think he's giving me the bird...

I know there are delightful days to come.  I know without a doubt that the joy and light that this child brings to our family won’t be dimmed with age.  But for now, for today, I feel a mixture of emotions.

I am sad that he is growing so fast.  I’m sad that a simple haircut changed him from a baby to a boy in an instant.

I’m excited to see what the future holds.  Because he is my third born, I know there are milestones and joys that lie ahead.  There are changes to come that are natural and good and I am anxiously awaiting the process of watching not only Landon, but all three of my children grow up.  It’s beautiful and wonderful and thrilling and exhausting and I’m overjoyed that I get to be witness to their growth.

I just wish that it didn’t have to happen so fast.