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Family Chatter


By Mary Becelia

A few years ago, when Katherine was a bright-eyed preschooler and Robert a plump peach of a baby, I received a holiday letter from my dear friend, Kristin. After she summarized the family's activities for the year, she wrote a few lines about each of her boys.

I have absolutely no recollection of what she said about the older two, but I do recall what she asked about her youngest child, "Is there anything sweeter than a five year old boy?"

I remember this so well, because I so vehemently disagreed. I looked at my rosy baby boy and my golden-haired three year old girl and I thought, "How can a FIVE YEAR OLD BOY compare in sweetness to these two cherubs?" I concluded that my friend was probably delusional, or at the very least, sadly mistaken. So, I dismissed, but did not forget her words.

Fast forward five years, and now my baby boy is five. Over the past few months I have come to understand just what it is that makes a five year old boy so sweet, especially when he is the youngest. He still has one foot, well at least a toe, in babyland. All swagger and bravado on the outside and when he is with his friends, but at night he still wants to snuggle and in the morning he'll still come to me and ask, "Will you read me a story, Mommy?"

He can't read and he can't tie his shoes. All this will change in a microsecond or two. He will be a big kid before I know it, but for now, for a few more fleeting moments, he's still my little boy... my baby boy.

I am cherishing the hugs, the stories, the cuddles and the "I love yous," spoken in that high, warbling voice of young childhood. These are especially sweet, even bittersweet, because I realize, in a way that was impossible to realize this era won't last much longer.

Nothing is more adorable than a baby, all warm and soft; and a toddler can be absolutely luscious but nothing is sweeter than a five year old boy. Tousled and rambunctious, messy and loud with a soft little hand that still creeps into yours and a sturdy little body that can still fits perfectly in your lap.

Kristin was right, as more experienced moms often are...A five year old boy is sweet as can be!

Mary Becelia lives in Stafford with her husband and two children.

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