All of us have a point at which we truly grow up- or, at least, I’d like to think everyone does. There are a few boys I knew in high school that I would question that, but, for the most part, we all grow up.
As a parent, I’m starting to realize that I go back and forth between wanting my kids to grow up and wanting them to remain babies forever:
~when Camo gives me a hug out of nowhere- aw, stay a baby!
~when Camo annoys me to no end- please, grow up and move out already!
~when Jacob snuggles up to me- stay my baby forever
~when Jacob starts a fight with his brother and tries to PLAY the baby card- grow up.
~when Nicholas is sleeping- my sweet, little baby boy… stay this way forever.
~when Nicholas is up and making me hold him while he cries non-stop- yeah, you can grow up already.
I’ve noticed that a lot of people have a habit of correcting the things that little kids do- their quirks that make them kids. Things like pronouncing things wrong and EMBELLISHING the truth (yes, its a fancy way of saying ‘lying’), seem to get under their skin- like a kid is going to go off to college pronouncing double L’s with a ‘y’ sound. To my knowledge, most kids that have made it that far, have acquired the necessary skills and abilities to carry on a proper conversation with other adults, never once referring to their brother as ‘budda’.
I can’t tell you the EXACT day that I realized my oldest baby was no longer a baby, but I’m sure it started small; too small for me to really have noticed. Maybe it was after he had been chastised (not by me, mind you) for telling people that he had seen a bear on a walk he had taken. Maybe it was the 100th time he was told that “we call it a GLOVE not a GLUB”. Maybe it was the day that a friend in school had convinced him that Santa wasn’t real. I’m really not sure, which is sad, because he was my very first baby- my guinea pig for parenting- and, as good as I was at keeping track of things in his baby book, you just don’t write down the day your son grew up and began to understand that cooties aren’t real and liking a girl wasn’t icky. You don’t keep track of their choices of shoe brands right there along with when they said their first word.
But, what I DO know is what I know NOW, and that’s that it doesn’t matter if my middle son believes in the tooth fairy or that “No, mom, this is REALLY how it happened”. I mean, fishermen tell tall tales everyday and no one reprimands them.
Because, one day, when I’m not keeping track, my babies are going to be all grown up; and they won’t be referring to binoculars as “big knockers” and they won’t write letters to Santa- they’ll just tell me. One day, I’ll look, and they’ll have babies of their own and be trying desperately to keep track of all the important times, never understanding that EVERY day is important. And they’ll be trying to figure out when it is that THEIR babies just suddenly weren’t anymore, but they won’t be able to recall that ONE moment, either.
But, until that day, when they’re treading the same waters I have, I’m going to keep them close. And, while I might not be able to pinpoint the precise moment at which my babies went from “too cute” to “cool dude”, I know its happening. I have more than enough photos to prove it.