My oldest child finishes elementary school tomorrow.
I don't know how it happened. I swear, I just put him down for a nap in his crib half an hour ago. Thirty minutes went by, and now he's finishing the fifth grade. Now he stands almost nose-to-nose with me. He uses vocabulary words I don't know.
How did that happen?
At bedtime, after my boy
reluctantly eagerly agreed to a last-minute snuggle with his wistful mom, I told him I was proud of him for something really kind and responsible he'd done earlier in the day. I told him how I saw him becoming a man. There was a long pause; I was just sure my affirming words were melting deep into his soul, and that an equally beautiful response from him would surely burst forth.
"Mom, cleanliness is NOT next to godliness. I looked it up the dictionary today. Cleanliness is next to clam. Godliness is, like, 10 pages away."
Well. As long as we have that straightened out.
Smarty-Pants headed off to bed, only to be replaced by his younger brother. He's facing some big decisions regarding the sport he plays, and he wanted to show us a list he's been working on–it has pros and cons, and some general observations to consider. It was thorough, sensible, and entirely mature. I looked at his serious face in wonder, trying to process that this is the same boy who, only three hours ago, sat at my kitchen table and tried to eat a bowl of spaghtetti without any utensils.
(May I just publicly state for the record that I am utterly, wholly mystifed by the mind of an adolescent boy? I have nearly given up trying. I just smile and hug and make sure their underwear is clean.)
So after Boy #2 headed up to bed, Boy #3 (as you might guess) made his appearance. He is finishing up the second grade–no adolesence here, no sir. He's my baby (not my youngest, but my baby–the two aren't necessarily the same thing, and you moms know what I mean). He curled up in my lap and I told him I'd decided he just would have to stay in second grade forever; sorry, buddy.
"But mom, how will I go to college?" he gasped. I reminded him he would never leave home, because I just knew his life's aim was to live with me forever and let me scratch his back and fix him mashed potatoes.
He laughed, and I laughed, and I shooed him off to bed, his eyes so shiny with summer plans that I knew sleep wouldn't be coming soon. It would come quickly for me, though, so exhausted am I with the end-of-year festivities. I will crawl in my bed and dream of party favors and cupcakes. And I'll dream of a magical potion that will let me stop time, just for a bit.