I stand out in the beautiful springtime sun and watch my baby, and he's five. He's five and he's running lap after lap around the yard, stopping each time to leap over a toddler slide toppled over. He's wearing the same outfit he did yesterday and the day before that. Skinny jeans, "because some of my pants are weird, Mama, but these pants are cool." and a lime green hooded shirt, and headphones. He brings me the headphones every time one of his favorite songs come on because he loves it so much he wants Mama to hear it too. But not right now. Right now he's running, and his arms are swinging, and he looks five. He presses his lips together in work and concentration, eyes on the grass in front of his feet.
Then he catches my eye, and I'm smiling proudly at him, and - there it is! That precious-boy smile starts from the middle and stretches out. His sparkly brown eyes crinkle and the dimples crease deeply. And he runs again, and again, looking each time to see if I'm watching, and of course I am. I open my arms wide and he runs and jumps and there he is, my little baby boy, cuddled in my arms with his face nuzzled against my neck. "Am I a good runner, Mama?"
"Yes, son. You sure are!"