Someday you will not be near me. Someday you will cry and I will not be there to hear you, to see your face turn splotchy or watch as your tears slide down your cheeks. I will not be there to witness your gigantic bright brown eyes as they turn to the beautiful mossy green when they fill with the hurt, frustration, sadness or painful tears that change them. I won’t be close enough to witness your enormous eyelashes cling together from sopping up a tear here or there as you blink, plead through labored breaths and say, “I don’t want to be “it.” Or “Why do I always have to be thiwd(third)?”
This pains me to think about because as much as I hate to see you cry, I always want to be there for you. Always, as in forever. Like I have always been with you. And you have always been with me. Through everything. I want to hold you, carry you, hug you and look you in the eye and help you understand life’s frustrations, both the big hard-to-comprehend ones and the tiny, yet completely unfair ones.
I never realized that sadness could be so beautiful until I looked into your eyes that day. You came running over, then stood in front of me with your body slouched over, crying with your head pressed up against that giant tree. You looked so small. Again. The sun must have hit your face perfectly. And that’s when I saw your big tears transform the color of your eyes. They did the beautiful color changing trick, in a dramatic way, a way that I had never seen before. I think I will hold that picture of you in my heart forever. Your dark brown eyes turned green. See-through-green, like the moss growing above the tree trunk that cradled your head, only a million times more beautiful. I knew your brown eyes always had green in them, like mine, but with your head rested up against that tree, I stood trying to comfort you mesmerized.
You hate when your brothers run after only you and tag you in the game of “hide and seek.” You hate to be “it.” You’re a little scared to count by yourself. It seems unfair. Because they’re older, taller and quicker than you right now. Because you are third. Please don’t hurry, slow down. Don’t grow up so fast, my sweet youngest boy.
Yesterday, in the car, you asked me,
“Why did I gwow up third?”
I answered, “You were in my belly third.”
Then you added in your precious, figuring out-the-world voice, “Because it was so warm in there and I wanted to stay in there.”
It was too precious to correct you. You are my third child. My third son. You possess so many breathtakingly beautiful characteristics that impact the world for good. I hope one day when you cry without me there that you will always remember how important you are and that you will always, always carry my love with you in those beautiful brown eyes. And in the green eyes too. But most importantly, stored up inside that tiny mighty heart of yours.