I got a call the other day that my grandmother was in the hospital again. My first thought was, “this can’t be happening again.” It’s been less than a month since my grandfather passed and I am still aching from the realization that he’s gone. Thankfully my grandmother is well and the procedure she needs is fairly routine. She should be home by Wednesday.

Getting that call brought back a flood of memories from last month.  When I went to my grandparent’s house to say my final goodbyes to my grandfather, we spent most of the week reminiscing on the amazing years that we did have with my grandfather. He was such a happy, funny, and loving person, that we were in hysterics most of the time as we remembered all of the funny things that he did. My grandmother is the ultimate keeper of all things from the past. She has thousands and thousands of photos from her childhood, her teenage years, the early years of her marriage and beyond. She has photos of me from the day I was born up until now. She doesn’t throw anything away and I was so thankful that she doesn’t because it allowed my family to sit for hours and hours looking back and reminiscing on those memories. I thought about how lucky I was for her to not only take these photos, but to have them printed and saved for us to have forever.

As I sat down to write my speech for his funeral, I looked through my phone to find a photo from last summer, the last time we saw him. I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled and found nothing. I asked my brother if he took any while we were there and he couldn’t find anything either. My grandmother, who is usually always taking pictures didn’t have any on her phone either. I remember while I was visiting that summer that I wanted to get a photo with the kids and my grandparents. I kept putting it off and ended up never getting one. My biggest regret is not taking a photo with him. While I certainly didn’t know that was going to be the last time I saw him, I still wish that I had those memories to look back on.

I wish I wouldn’t have put it off.

I’m sure I was waiting for a more “perfect” moment. Or that my hair and makeup weren’t done completely right for the photo to be taken. But looking back, that didn’t matter. I just wish I had the photo of me hugging my grandaddy’s neck for what would’ve been the last time. When I think back to that summer I don’t remember what I wore or if I even had my makeup or hair done. But what I do remember was my kids running around and jumping on my grandaddy’s lap. I do remember me sitting next to him on the couch and talking with him. And that’s what I wished I would’ve captured.

This wasn’t the only time that I’ve put off taking photos, but perhaps this it’s the time that gave me this wakeup call. I know there are so many photos that I don’t take of myself with the kids or of the kids in general because they don’t portray perfect. I’ll watch my kids dancing and not take the photo because of the mess in the background. Or I’ll want to take a selfie of the kids giving me a giant kiss on the cheek and I won’t because I have a zit on my forehead. I hesitate to take so many photos.

The truth is, there is no perfect moment. There is no perfect time to take a photo. Just take it. Take it so you can capture that moment in time. You never know when you’ll want to look back and relive it. And trust me, one day you will.

There aren’t many times that he’s not by my side. He’s been like that since day one. Of course I thought it would always taper off, but so far that doesn’t seem to be the case. Last week when he was sick, he wouldn’t let me go more than a few inches away from him. The closeness of me next to him gave him comfort in his time of need. As I write this he’s sitting next to me and grabbing my face and kissing it. He’s affectionate and needy and incredibly challenging. But he’s my little boy. And today he is three.

I never thought that a baby’s personality could come through while they are still in the womb, but looking back at my pregnancy with Macks, he definitely gave us a preview on what was to come. He’s always been my most challenging child. Even three years in, I can never predict how my day will be with him. He’s my wild card. It’s him that I can thank for making things interesting.

At three, he’s still in diapers, still in his crib, still cries on most days when I drop him off at preschool, and still ends up in our bed at some point during the night. But that’s Macks. He’s in no hurry to grow up and embraces being the baby of the family. And perhaps that’s one of the things that I love about him the most. He does things his own way no matter what others say to him or about him. Just as my OB said three years ago that he’d come early just like the girls did, he proved her wrong. He’s been doing it from the very beginning.

While Macks likes to do things his way and in his own time, those include his hugs, kisses, and “I love you.” He loves to show his love and he doesn’t care who knows it. When Macks likes you, he’ll let you know. Just the other day as I was picking him up from school he told me that his teacher told him he couldn’t kiss his friends in class. I laughed at the statement. He’s never heard that you can be too affectionate.

Macks and I spend two mornings together while the girls are in school. Most of those days I try to take him on dates (which usually just include grabbing a muffin and milk for breakfast,) but all he cares about is being with me. He’ll go out of his way to sit on my lap while he’s eating the muffin, or make sure that he’s holding my hand while we’re ordering. He just wants to know that I’m there. He’s clingy. And I know that. But even when I just need a minute to myself, I remind myself that he won’t be like this forever. I’m so blatantly aware of how quickly these past three years have passed. And perhaps it’s because there hasn’t been another baby born after Macks was. But it’s not me to embrace each stage. And not just with him, with the girls too. Take the good with the bad, because 10 years from now I know I’ll look back and the bad won’t be so bad after all.

So for now my clingy and affectionate little boy is affectionately known as my sidekick. And I’ve been able to relish in his cuddles, kisses, and hugs for the past three years. And I cannot wait to do the same for many many more.

Happy Birthday Macks.

 

It’s been a rough week. I’ve only taken one shower since Saturday. We’ve been back and forth to the doctor all week long and while Macks has been glued to me, his nebulizer has been glued to his mouth. BUT even with all of the hurdles, I am happy to report that Macks is nearly back to his old self. He was up and running around this afternoon and even managed to eat all of his dinner. I cannot tell you how thankful I am that he’s back to being my spunky little boy. Thank you all for your prayers, your messages, and your words of comfort. They are so very much appreciated.

That’s what makes me happy.

Now tell me something good. Something that’s made you happy. It can be big, it can be small, just something that has put a smile on your face. You can participate by sharing a photo on Wednesday with the hashtag #WhyImHappyWednesday and tagging me @laurenjimeson or feel free to write it in the comments below. I do read them all and am happy to reply back on your good news! You can also join in the conversation on my Facebook page!