Last night, before tucking Rain in bed, we read him this poem from our new Gateways book:
When I have said my evening prayer,
And my clothes are folded on the chair,
And mother switches off the light,
I’ll still be four years old tonight.
But, from the very break of day,
Before the children rise and play,
Before the greenness turns to gold,
Tomorrow, I’ll be five years old.
Five kisses when I wake,
Five candles on my cake.
Five years ago today, Rain was born at sunrise, on the last day of summer. It was a glorious sunny morning and Trout Lake was still and calm, reflecting the golds and greens of the park. When I think of the day he was born, I cherish that vision of the lake, even though I saw it because I was on my way into an ambulance for a retained placenta. At the time, I thought we’d be back in a few short hours to soak up that sunshine with our new gorgeous baby. Unfortunately, within an hour, my infant son and I were seperated for the first time and I spent the next few hours unconscious. We spent the remainder of that day in a window-less recovery room at BC Women’s hospital and didn’t get home until dinner time the next day. That glimpse of the lake as I stepped out to the ambulance is the only moment I had of that beautiful last day of summer in 2005, the day Rain joined us. That moment of blinding sun after a long hard night is the way I think of Rain, who, despite his name, really is a ray of sunshine.
He is wild and tender, a great story teller, a brilliant inventor, an infectious laugh and a barrel full of energy. And he is five.
How things have changed in these last five years. As I feel this new baby fluttering in my belly, I find it amazing to think of the person I was when I first felt Rain kicking. I still feel very much like I’m just a novice at this game called parenting, yet I’ve learned so much since those early days with baby Rain. Five years certainly is a respectable start.
Looking at my boy, so big and still so little, I can’t help but feel that five is a bit of a milestone. Perhaps because five is often associated with heading off to Kindergarten, five feels like the beginning of a long slow letting go. Granted, I truly believe that letting go begins the moment you feel that first contraction. Nevertheless, five seems to mark the time when our kids will begin to go out into the world, at least for parts of the day, without mom & dad. That part fills me with wonder and pride and sadness and my heart swells and I get just a tiny bit choked up as I give him five kisses when he wakes.