Most mornings, David asks me how we’re going to spend the day. Often, he asks if we can go to the children’s museum.
No, I tell him over and over. We aren’t going to the museum. Inevitably he asks why and I tell him the truth: Because Mommy’s afraid to go to the museum with three babies.
“But I’m not a baby!” he insists.
He’s not a baby, but the point remains. I can take them to preschool, to playgrounds (fenced, preferably), on short walks, and to Target. But not to the grocery store, and not to the museum. Not by myself, and not with all three. Not yet.
I call him my biggest boy, and that’s what he is. My first baby, who is now on the verge of being too big for me to carry. He’s the only one who ever had Mommy and Daddy all to himself, but since that brief season he’s been learning to make concessions for the babies. He gets the privileges of being the eldest but that comes hand in hand with slowing down to wait for little ones, sharing toys with clumsy siblings, and staying home for naps he’s not taking.
He is my leader, my trailblazer; the one whose childhood is marked by making the way.