My little boy turns 7 tomorrow and I don't know what is more surprising; the fact it's all gone by in a blink of an eye or the reality that I haven't gone completely insane. Yet.
One day he's this little baby and today he's running around in the backyard yelling about Pokemon cards and doing Jeff Hardy wrestling moves on the trampoline while singing "It's Time to Play the GAME".
I've loved every minute of his 7 years, even though I've made more mistakes than Trot would make in identifying the 50 states. I've yelled way more than I should have and been more impatient than he deserves and there have been more than a few nights when I went to bed feeling like I was the worst Dad walking the planet.
Tonight was shaping up to be one of those nights. A combination of a couple of neighbor kids hurting his feelings, Trot having an upset stomach and not quite making it to the bathroom on time tag teamed up with 4 pre-teen girls in my kitchen while all this was going on sort of set me on edge and by the time he'd asked for a certain bag of chips for the gazillionth time while we were trying to get dinner on the table I blew my stack.
I should mention here that Trot was having a meltdown to beat ALL meltdowns at the time due to the fact he didn't like Tuna. Never mind that we were actually going to be eating Turkey.
But by the time the 7:30 re-run of "Two and a Half Men" had ended Rakes was curled up next to me, fast asleep with his head on my chest after mumbling "I love you, Dad." about 20 minutes prior, it hit me that tonight WOULDN'T be one of those nights.
At the end of the day, we were right where we started it. I was his Dad, he was my son, and he and I both get to go to bed knowing each of us are loved.
If you ever read this someday Rakes, your Dad loved you whether you were asleep on my chest or peeing on the garage floor out the open door of the van.
It just probably didn't seem like it at the time.
Happy Birthday, Little Man.