I remember playing the So Big game with my babies. Stretching their little arms over their head as they giggled. I would kiss their bellies, their armpits or their toes. It was just yesterday….wasn’t it?
Last night our family went to dinner to celebrate our marriage, St. Patrick’s Day, spring break and Easter. As we were waiting for our blinky disc to announce our table was ready, we sat down beside some college boys. I glanced twice when I couldn’t discern my son’s feet in the line-up of worn leather. I maneuvered to get a better view, only to notice my son was sitting shoulder to shoulder to these young men. Wait! They have whiskers! If you look closely and in the right light, my little boy has a shadow on his lip. Yikes!
When we stand toe to toe, I no longer have to bend to peck him on the cheek. Tackle him, maybe. He orders dinner off the adult menu, and eats the majority of his choice. I was comforted when he seemed a little disappointed not to get the complimentary kid’s dessert that Lexi did – but that was short-lived. We came home and he made his own ice cream concoction, rinsed his bowl, then looked for something else to consume.
As a girl and mom to 3 girls, I have about figured out that limbo stage for our gender. Leading my son to adulthood is a new trip for me though. He’s not big enough for this and too big for that. He’s 11.5, although he’ll say he’s almost a teenager. I’m reminded quite frequently that he’ll be driving soon.
Looking at him asleep this morning, I still see the little boy with the mussed up hair. I try to ignore his feet are sticking off the end of his bed. His bedside table is a reflection of him – teen cologne, a stuffed animal, some rocks, a wallet, and a skateboard wheel. There are three dirty socks on the floor, less than 1 foot from the dirty clothes hamper.
While it’s not quite time to close the door on being a child, those teenage years are peeking around the corner. I keep in mind that I’m raising a husband, a daddy, a responsible contributor to our world, a child of God. Every lesson has a purpose. Some days I’m not sure who is teaching who though. As a mom to a boy, every day is a new experience.
One thing I do not do – is kiss armpits, toes or even bellies. So Big has come to fruition.