Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Year of Change

This is it. The summer. Last summer my son was a little boy. This summer he became, "a kid". I was watching him yesterday at the pool playing with his friend David. The boys swam for a while and then begged me to let them go down the slide into the deep end. This was something that they had been allowed to do in swim class, but until they have been tested there were not supposed to go anywhere near the diving boards or slide during normal pool hours.

After much pleading I checked with their swim teacher who was still at the pool and she gave them permission, confident in their abilities. For the first 10 or so times I sat on a bench just feet away from the slide watching the boys plunge into the 12 foot water. I came to the realization that they really did not need me hovering (since they were doing really well swimming safely back to the ladder and the lifeguard was a mere 8 feet away). For the next hour they went up and down the slide sans my assistance and eagle eye. It was a wake-up moment.

Looking at my "kid" I saw the muscular outlines on his back, chest and abdomen that indicate a boy growing stronger. Gone was the doughy softness of his belly and undefined toddler arms that I loved to hold for so many years. His tousled hair and prominent freckles look more like one of the young Sullivan brothers than Opie Taylor. And to top it off, his summer tan line is one of an older boy who has spent many days by the pool, slathered with sunscreen by a mom who can only pin him down for one application, instead of a carefully covered toddler whose skin rarely sees the sun.

As much as the realization jolted me, it pleased me as well. My son is growing up. The fact that this was going to happen is no sudden epiphany. I knew it was going to happen, I just have been too involved in everyday life to step back and appreciate the subtle changes. The young man/older boy he is growing into is a person I am honored to know and proud to call my son. I praise God that he still likes to have "Momma time" and sit and cuddle. I just don't think I am old enough to have a child growing this fast, although the subtle changes in my hair color would indicate a different reality!


Heather_in_WI said...

Aww. I love this post. I know these days are on the horizon for me.


Susie said...

It happens when you least expect it...or when you forget to look....you turn around and they've grown bigger and older.

I'm so honored to travel down this "mommy-road" with you and watch this happening.


Mamma D said...

Speaking of growing fast... Charlie turned 18 on Wed... I feel soooooo old!! I just thank God we got him grown!

Carolyn said...

Ya made me cry!