There are times that I look at my son and, as if seeing him for the first time, I realize he's not my little baby.
He was born with very curly hair. He had his first hair cut at a little over a year and we've needed to trim it about once every six months. Over the past year, we've noticed the curl starting to relax, but have tried to pretend the air's really dry or brushing it after a bath has straightened it. But the texture was also changing. Besides, my hair did exactly the same thing and is now simply wavy.
Since his summer haircut, nearly a shave, too short for our taste, his hair has grown back to a pleasing length. He still has a couple curls at his temples, but the rest lies against his head in soft waves. It's starting to part itself on one side. It is a boy's hairstyle.
And then this morning we got him ready for a birthday party. I pulled out last year's jeans; they no longer required any cuffing at all (and we rolled them twice through the winter). I added a layered-look T-shirt, something his grandmother got for him this summer in anticipation of this year's cold weather. It's a little long, though well within the limits of style, and the sleeves hit him just about perfectly. Put on socks and his black Chuck Taylors. Suddenly, I'm looking at a BOY! Not a baby, not a toddler, but a boy.
I want to cry. He looks so cute, but so very grown-up.
We go to the party, tire him out, and come home. He's exhausted and ready for a nap. So my wife tucks him in and he quickly drops off. I check in on him after a while to make sure he's still napping and have to restrain myself from kissing his angel face.
Ah, there's my baby.