Skip to main content

A taste of what's to come

One of my favorite traditions at the end of my work-at-home days is to power down the computer and go for a walk around the neighborhood with my Sweet Boy. It's a time for both of us to decompress and reconnect, to notice the simple things that make us smile, to hold hands and breathe deeply. During the fall, it's also a time to collect pine cones, ooh-and-ahh and the "burning trees" maxing out their colors, listen to the high school marching band warming up on the other side of the hill.

Today Sweet Boy took his scooter out with us on our walk. This scooter is way too small for him, the kind with the two wheels on the back, but I can tell he feels much more comfortable on it than on his (much hated) bicycle. He's mastered this little scooter, and he's proud of himself when he rides it. And he feels like a big kid on it, like the grade school kids who skateboard up and down our street.

About halfway around the block we encountered three boys from the neighborhood, all between the ages of 8 and 11, and all who live within a few houses of us. They were skateboarding and playing in the creek. While SB and I threw monkey balls into the creek, the boys came over and started talking to us. In fact, I quickly realized, they were talking to Sweet Boy, showing off for him by climbing over the railings at the creek and jumping from one muddy bank to the other, demonstrating how you can drop sticks into the sewer and see them come out on the other side of the street, doing tricks on their skateboards. Boy stuff, for sure.

Oh, you should have seen the stars in Sweet Boys eyes. These big boys are talking to me! They want to show me how to climb down into the creek! They want to show me their scooters! He joined in a couple times with "Watch how fast I can go!" and the boys cheered for him as he raced scooter down the sidewalk. They talked about their schools and SpongeBob. The boys told him of a legend of an alligator in the sewer -- and then the oldest boy, sensing SB's nervousness, said, "but don't worry...that was a long time ago, when my dad was a kid." Sweet Boy responded by snapping his hands like an alligator jaw and laughing.

What really struck me about this encounter was that Sweet Boy had no trepidation about joining in with these three kids who were so obviously older than him. He was one of the gang immediately, though his awe at being included was obvious. I caught a glimpse of my little guy growing up right before me, like in those 10 minutes he crossed the invisible line between toddler and boy. One minute I was holding on to the back of his pants as he leaned over the railing of the creek, the next minute I could picture him zooming down the street on his own skateboard. It's hard to describe the emotion in those moments -- proud of him, wanting to protect him, backing off to let him interact -- my heart was full and shattering at the same time.

As we left for home, he called "See you later, buddies!" and they all called him buddy right back. A giant smile on his face and a spring in his step, he turned back into my little boy again, reaching up and grasping my hand as we turned the corner. He beamed up at me and said, with all the desire in his oversized heart, "I wish I could be a big boy like my new friends."

Soon enough, lovebug, soon enough.

Comments

  1. This, my dear sister, is perfection.

    I sense that your angelbaby is just like you and just like me--he's always going to fit in better with the older kids. He's always going to be ahead of the curve, and you should let him embrace it.

    But when he forgets that he's young--as he most definitely will--make sure you remind him how great it feels to hold your hand.

    Our Dad is really good at that, and I know you are, too.

    What an awesome story to finish an awesome day. Thanks.

    <3

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a sweet story. Impressive that boys of that age would take interest in someone so young. GMH.

    ReplyDelete
  3. What struck me, too, Kaylee, is that all three of these boys are older brothers (and two of them are middle brothers). So it was kinda nice to see that big brother thing in action... reassuring me that our little big brother will take his responsibilities seriously too.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Grace happens

Today Honey's roommate in room 364 at Maine Medical Center was discharged. Some other day I'll tell you about why Honey is in the hospital again, but this story is about the roommate because it's way more interesting. Let's call him Elton, because all I really know about him is he plays guitar in an Elton John tribute band and he's originally from the very northern part of England, bordering Scotland. (Or as Honey described it, "that place in England where the Roman Empire decided, nope, those Celts are crazy, and put up a wall.")

Elton was in room 364 before Honey arrived, and what struck me immediately, besides his delightful accent and soothing Liam-Neeson-esque voice, was his gentle, good-natured manner. He was going through heck from a botched surgery and compartment syndrome - pain and gore and fear of losing the use of his dominant hand - yet he spoke kindly and softly to every person who came into his room. Every time a nurse walked in, Elton gree…

Math lessons

I was really great at school as a kid...but I'm really lousy at school as a parent. And I was reminded once again of this while sitting at my son's conference yesterday.

Seventh grade has been hard on all of us. Beyond the obvious physical changes -- Happy has grown at least 5" since this summer and now looks me in the eye (yeah, remember I'm super tall!), his voice is weird, he can't get out of his own way -- we're all trying to navigate his ever-changing need for independence. His teachers want him to take more responsibility for his learning, which in theory sounds like a great plan for all kids at this age; they have to not only learn how to learn but also learn how to advocate for their learning.

In reality, though, when you're the world's most laid-back 12-almost-13-year-old who really only wants to listen to music, play drums, video games, and action figures, taking responsibility and advocating for your learning is not highest priority. In fact…

Happy curls?

I dreaded the passing of the peace each Sunday when I was a little girl. Every week the old church ladies would comment about my hair...
    "Shirley Temple curls!" they cooed; I didn't know who Shirley Temple was.
    "So soft!" they petted; I didn't want their wrinkly, gnarled fingers on my head.
    "I pay a lot of money to have hair like yours!" they exclaimed; I couldn't figure out why anyone would pay money for frizzy, fluffy, brillo-pad hair.

I hated my curls. I felt embarrassed by my hair -- it was short, kinky, cut badly -- quite different from the long straight hair my friends all wore at the time in my life when I just wanted to fit in. Oh, how I wanted a ponytail! Or a braid...to braid my hair on a Sunday morning with ribbons hanging down, that was a dream.

Today during the passing of the peace, I found myself next to one of the older ladies in our church. Every week I marvel at her elegance, the way the dresses, the slow and grace…