Our boy is growing up and I’m not sure I like it. Maybe I do. In fact, I might. But the reality is I’m not sure I’m ready for it. Is anyone ever really ready for it? Ready to say good-bye to the unfaltering adoration of infancy? To the sweet discoveries and fantastic firsts of toddlerhood? To the wonderful wide-eyed innocence of elementary school?
Well, I’m watching it all fade away and, as most parents would agree, it’s happening way too fast. Our firstborn recently turned eight. We’ve long kidded around when his pants are too short or his shoes are too tight that “I told you stop growing! Geez, don’t you ever listen?!” Thankfully, in this case, he doesn’t. He is bigger, smarter and sending some strong signals that he is officially a big kid now. Here are a few of those signals from the past few weeks:
- “Hey Ma, why does Santa leave amazon boxes in garage?” Need I say more? And could you pass me a tissue?
- On a lighter note and indicative, I believe, of pre-pubescent boy humor, “Hey Ma, I just farted!” Or “Ma, smell that? It was me!” Is it unusual that my husband still makes such proclamations? Minus the “Ma”, of course. What is it with boys/men and farts?! Whatever it is, it is in my house and it does not smell good!
- “I want a bacon cheeseburger. NOT from the kids’ menu!” Whoa. Bacon? Cheese? And when did a slider become inadequate for a meal? What’s with this full sized portion?! Oh. It’s a budding full-sized person. And, it’s hungry. Always hungry!
- “Nothing.” As in, “what did you do in school today?” or “what did you do with Ryder today?” or “what are you reading?” It was when I asked “what’s on your nose?” and he replied “Nothing,” while turning his head shyly away that I realized we’re at a real turning point. It might be a pimple. It might not be. But, it has made him self-conscious. With me! His mom! What’s up with that?!
As he continues to grow and I continue to marvel at it all and wish I could bottle up my little boy forever, I am reminded once again of my mission: to make sure I guide that self-consciousness toward self-confidence. He’s remarkably confident when farting (come to think of it, maybe we should cut back on those burgers!) so I’m optimistic we can bottle that emotion (though not the stink!) – hopefully with a minimum of inevitable growing pains for all involved!