How Target made me cry. Happy Birthday Baby.

Marcel I love you.

Five years ago tomorrow Marcel was born.

Last night I was looking for a little outfit for the birthday boy at Target. I was drawn towards a pair of pants that were size 5T. On that same rack were a pair of identical pants, fashioned for a child who wears size 3 months. I held one in each hand, almost as high as my chin and started to get a little choked up. Then I heard the waves of preschooler’s past crashing down over me, as I saw the perfect top to go with the pants, over there, on the other side of the aisle. Over there, in a size “extra small boys”.

There I stood in the middle, holding one piece of clothing from each side, and both will fit him beautifully. There I stood in a mini mommy meltdown, poised between the past, present, and future.

Infancy, toddlerhood, preschooler. Done. Kindergartener, school age, and beyond is here, and awaits.

The nursing tops, the pacifiers, the pullups, the krincklee toys, the lullabye CD’s are in her cart, the woman next to me looking at the 12 month pants, not mine.

Marcel is a little boy. Marcel wakes into his five year old self full on tomorrow.

Before bed he said; “Mommy being five is a little like being four still, but is a little like being five too. Five is exciting, but it scares me when I worry if I won’t be able to read as well as other five year olds before my birthday is over tomorrow. ” Oh baby, we have to help you relax a bit huh?

Soon a post dedicated to the marvel that is all of you baby. But for tonight, I’ll get back to putting more of these precious baby pictures on the wall under the streamers, your drawings, and my sweet memories of holding your little body against mine for the very first time, finally, four years and three hundred sixty four days ago. Taking a moment here to sit with that feeling in my body, is such tender bliss.


  1. How Mama C made me cry. Wow, this is a good one. I look at my not so little guy everyday and still am surprised its gone so quickly. Nearly 3 and the size of an average 4 year old and his little grown man face. I miss my baby too but I’m so proud of how far he’s come, how far we both have come.
    Happy birthday beautiful Marcel!!! You’ve got one great mama. Thanks For this C! Good reminder to cherish every step.

  2. Cat, your poetic, easy way with words is just one of the things I love about you. This post created an instant lump in my throat, reflective of the growing pains of so many of us mamas right now. Off to shop for a swagger shirt for my little cute boy! Happy Birthday to YOU!

  3. What a beautiful post! I get a little weepy myself when another year goes by with my own boys. Fall marks the succession of all three of their birthdays in a row — definitely a joyous occasion — but it also makes me wistful at the same time. It’s so bittersweet to see our children grow up.

  4. Yep, made me cry too! I can’t imagine my baby being 5, but I can FEEL it through reading your words. I read the previous posts too – so much going on in your house. I love your new frame of thinking about Marcel and his meltdowns. I often work with parents on just this – instead of pushing away when their emotions are big, try pulling in. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked much with my 2 year old – he just gets more angry if I try to comfort him! Oh well, like you said, each child is different:).

  5. Well, I ran into some baby pix of Sam while I was looking through some cards and mementos. At about the same age as this one of Marcel. And I am feeling the time fly too. Grammys and Grampys share some of your feelings.

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