It’s been seven years.

Yes, I am a mommy to an amazing 7-year-old boy. Some people have recently asked me why I don’t talk more about my son on my blog. After all, it is a blog about me and my photography, and he has been my most loyal model through the years.

I’m very protective of Kaden when it comes to the internet and what I put online. EXTREMELY. There are several reasons for this, which I won’t go into here, but I will really try to make a concerted effort to share a little more. I realize that I have to open up a little more on my blog and share a little about ME. And a HUGE part of me… is my family.

I’ve struggled with writing this post. Bad news? Nope. Something I don’t want to talk about? Nope. It’s something that I don’t want to admit.

My baby is seven years old. Well, because it’s taken me so wrong to write this, over seven by now. Almost seven and one month, to be exact.

I’m a very emotional person, and even thinking about this makes me cry. For several reasons. Tears of pride – I’m so proud of the little boy that he is becoming, and of the man that he will one day be. Tears of sadness – I’m sad to see him get bigger, because it’s a reminder to me that my time with him in my home is so limited. Tears of joy – for all of the happiness and laughter that he has brought, and is bringing, into my life.

Out of all of those reasons, the reason that is most prevalent is the last one. JOY. He makes me laugh every single day.

I always say that I don’t want Kaden to grow up. We joke about it, and I push down on the top of his head and tell him that he’s not allowed to get any bigger.

I’m only half joking.

When Kaden was a baby, every time he moved up a size in clothing, I would go through his clothes, crying. I was so upset that he was getting bigger, and everyone around me never really understood why. I know that he will grow up. I know that he will become a teenager (yikes!) and then a man. I know all of these things with my head, and the people that knew I was upset would tell me this.

But here’s the secret. As his mother, I have never known a love like I have for him. It blows me away. I feel like my heart is going to explode with affection and love for him every single day. And in my mind, I was afraid that I wouldn’t love him as much as he got older. I know, silly, right? But I knew how much I loved him at THAT age (whatever age it was) and I was terrified that when he got bigger, when things changed, that I wouldn’t love him as much. He was so little, and yet had my heart and mind completely wrapped up this tiny body. I didn’t want to love him less.

He used to snuggle on my chest and sleep. I loved that, and I knew that it wouldn’t last. He used to sing along to rap songs (clean ones!) with his high voice, and he thought he was just the coolest ever, and now those songs aren’t really his “favorites” anymore. He used to offer me cheese when I was upset, to try to cheer me up. It made me laugh, even if I was sad, and I knew that would change. Even now he will sit with me while we read, snuggled up with me. I know that this too will change, and one day snuggling with Mommy won’t be so cool.

Seven years later, I know how ridiculous that was, thinking that I wouldn’t love him as much as he gets bigger. But knowing that it’s ridiculous… I still feel it every once in awhile. When he runs up to hug me out of nowhere, I know that won’t last. I know that his Martian voice eventually won’t be cool anymore. I know that his want to “take care of” Mommy will probably change in a few years. Even now, as I write this, I’m trying to keep my tears from falling on my desk.

Knowing that all of these changes are coming is overwhelming, and yes, it makes me cry. But because I’ve had seven years with him so far, I know that the next step will be even more awesome. Even when he’s pissing me off and in trouble, I know that my love for him won’t change.

I only cried very briefly on his birthday, and I was pretty proud of myself. He saw me crying, even though I tried to avoid it. He was immediately concerned that someone had hurt me, and when I explained that it was because it was his birthday, he asked me “but why are you sad that it’s my birthday?” I told him that I wasn’t sad at all. I told him that my tears were tears of happiness, because I was so proud of the boy that he is. His empathy and compassion, his kindness, his intelligence, and his sense of humor. There are so many things I love about him, so many things I’m proud of. But I’m so proud of his kind heart, and I know that won’t change.

He hugged me and told me he loved me. Tom hugged both of us and I thought that my heart would explode.

Yes, I’m sad that he’s growing up. Yes, I’m sad that things will change. But as I grow and have more time as this awesome little man’s Mommy, I am also so proud of him, and joyful when I think about the time that I have right now. The moments that we share, and the things that are to come. I saw a piece of advice for boys once that said “Be nice to your Mom on your birthday. Remember that it’s her day too.” It’s a bittersweet day, right moms?

Happy birthday Kaden, I love you more than I can ever tell you.

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