Wednesday, May 31, 2017

And Then They Grow Up.

"Hey Mom," he quipped, as he slid, knobby knees and nothing but legs out of the back of the Suburban into our garage. His backpack was slung over one shoulder all cool and cavalier-like and one of his uniform-mandated crew socks was scrunched carelessly down around his ankle; a dichotomy of Big Kid Status and Little Boyhood all in the same almost-7-year-old-boy frame. If it wasn't for those piercing blue eyes and that button nose I traced with my own lips no less than three-thousand times during those middle of the night diaper changes and nursing sessions, I might not have recognized him looking all Big Kid-like. 

"You think we could go out this week, just you and me and maybe..."

Hang out? Grab some ice cream? Spend some of your allowance at Barnes & Noble?

My ears perked up at the thought of my oldest baby eager to spend some one-on-one time with me. 

"You know, buy a new LEGO set together?". 

"Of course we can. But make sure you work on that chore chart this week," I quickly replied, mentally checking off "teach your boys the value of hard work" from my ongoing to-do list of Raising Little Humans Not To Be Big Jerks. As if he had somehow known that I'd go anywhere with him even if he didn't make his bed at all that week, discard the unwanted contents of his lunchbox or empty the silverware tray of the dishwasher, he had raced off upstairs to his bedroom and was out of earshot before I even stepped foot into the mudroom. 

I stumbled over his backpack. "At least he remembered to put his shoes away," I thought to myself as I glanced over at his chore chart, dotted neatly with expertly stenciled X's. His chart hung perfectly upright on that wall, in direct contrast to his little brothers' charts alongside, haphazard in their placement, penmanship and ultimately, their diligence in chore-completing. 

"Has he always gone out of his way to help me?" I wondered aloud. After all, he's always been my kindest, most sensitive boy. The answer was simple. Yes.

When you're in the thick of raising little babies you think that you'll never love them more. That right then and there is the most you'll ever love them their entire lives, as if life with them couldn't get any better than when they used to fit so perfectly in the crook of your neck. When you could ball them up and lie them in that perfectly dimpled spot between your thighs and they would gaze up at you, smile at the sound of your voice and you were certain your heart would explode into one thousand tiny pieces right there. There's no way it could ever get better than that...

...But inevitably those little babies grow up despite how much or how hard you wished for them to stay little. And it always starts with their necks, am I right? It's as if they appear from out of no where and suddenly all of that baby fat melts away. Their bellies, those swollen, delicious bellies synonymous with toddlerhood begin to lean out and their limbs practically lengthen right before your eyes, sending them head first into that clumsy, awkward phase where they're constantly covered in black and blue bruises from trying to keep up with their equally exploding sense of Act Now, Think Later. 

And you start to love love them more. You love them harder and more differently than before because they're growing up right before your eyes and you now have front row seats to viewing the best and worst parts of yourself in this child that once grew from a seed inside of your own miraculously flawed body. 

Mind blown.

"He's pretty great, huh?" I mutter to myself as I begin the treacherous task of sifting through homework folders and 4th-quarter-response-required-yesterday parent sign-up forms. I know I'm biased, after all, I am his Mother, but in spite of that very important distuingishment and although I am admittedly winging parenthood, he's turning out to be a pretty darn incredible somebody.

Somebody that I actually want to spend time with, a real thinking and feeling human being who loves Minecraft and mathematics, who can tell real jokes with real punchlines, who actually understands the basics of a major league baseball game and whose company I truly enjoy... as opposed to that helpless little human being that I didn't really have much of a choice in the matter of hanging out with and/or keeping alive just several short years ago.

A monumental shift had occurred. 

A milestone in and of itself and one that I'd almost missed when this particularly trying season of motherhood, one that I might have thought would never end, shifted from being based solely on the constant giving of care to one that was a beautifully symbiotic relationship full of jokes that made my sides hurt, mundane moments spent chatting in the kitchen like two old biddies, he with his legs dangling over the edge of the counter, me with my head in my hands in astonishment at how wise beyond his years he is and most importantly, true care and concern and a vested interested in how our respective days were spent while he was at school and I, at home with his brothers.

Suddenly, I see glimpses of a friend in this little big boy who I swear, just moments ago, was learning to take his first steps.

Word on the street is that it's only going to get better from here on out, too. Of course there's going to be moments when he still pees on the toilet seat (and the floor and perhaps even the wall) and apparently there's even a few years scattered in and among this "Puberty Phase" when, allegedly, he might not want anything to do with me, but until then, I'm going to thoroughly enjoy this new found kinship these next 7 or so years and spending time with my buddy that can truly enjoy the amazing-ness that is a PG-rated movie peppered with mature jokes, an ice cream cone enjoyed from the bottom up without making a disastrous mess and staying up later than his brothers who, thank the good Lord, will also grow up one day too soon and hopefully become equally cool little humans. 

So you see? You blink and then they grow up.. and it isn't so bad after all. In fact, it's pretty freaking awesome.  

Follow on Bloglovin

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thank you for reading ILYMTC. If you have any questions about a post or want to get in touch with me (or any of the cast of characters here at ILYMTC) email me at iloveyoumorethancarrots(at)gmail(dot)com.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...