I sat on top of the parking garage on Park and Speedway and watched the sun blush until it tucked itself away for the evening. That was five years ago. I sat on top of that parking garage and watched the world, seemingly alone. I wasn't.
I went home and told your father that yes, yes we would try. We would allow the world I watched from several stories up flip upside down. We would keep the child, tucked away under my clothes, my doubts, my fear. You made us yours and hurling towards us, week by week, we could only hold hands and brace ourselves for the impact.
"Red rover, red rover, send the future over."
Four years ago I walked around the hospital grounds, waiting for you to arrive. It was happening. The culmination of nine months and wondering. Nine months and worrying. Nine months and hoping that everything would be okay.
I blinked and you were born. I blinked and you were crawling, walking, running. You were one, two, three times my baby. But not anymore.
Today you are four.
You want to walk down the sidewalk on your own now. You want to uncover the stories in the dirt for yourself. I offer my hand, try to reel you back into my grasp, but you won't have it anymore. You are on your own mission.
"I can walk on my own. You trust me now."
I don't want to believe it. The notion that one day you'll walk on these sidewalks completely alone, without me to point out the colors in the early spring daisies. Without me to say "we're almost there."
You reassure me now. You hold my hand only when you feel I need it. And much like that summer evening I spent staring off into that pink horizon, unsure of the unknown, somewhere deep down I knew it would be okay. You knew.
I trust you now. We're almost there.
Happy Birthday, little prince.