i'm getting closer to 40, people (4 months and 9 days, but i'm not really counting!) i haven't had too many epiphanies yet about this new milestone, but they will come, i'm sure of it...
the past few months, though, i've been overwhelmed by another approaching milestone: they day we leave childhood behind. it's hard to imagine that, at 8 years old, my little boy has precious few childhood years left. there have been several defining moments recently, when i felt i could literally see the snips and snails and puppy dog's tails falling out of his pockets, abandoned on the bedroom floor with countless action figures and stuffed animals.
he is very much mp3 players and DS games and "Wizards of Waverly Place" these days. he is extremely smart, mostly confident, and a little bit sassy (i am hoping this is a stage where he is testing his boundaries, and will respond *quickly* to our, ahem, "coaching...")
it is almost painful to watch him grow so quickly. i have an insatiable urge to cuddle him and protect him. i have, on more than one occasion, asked him to simply "stop growing up."
it is a whole new world for eight year olds these days. when i was 8, it was all about bike rides and vinyl records and never ending sleepovers (can i PLEASE just have my idyllic childhood memories?!?) nowadays, it is 24 hour-a-day news coverage and global warming and the Internet (when jack was three, we were walking down on the waterfront. when i suggested we walk out onto the dock, he insisted on calling it the "dock com." (get it? "dot com?") this kid will know so many things in his lifetime. when we joke about about having to help OUR parents with the VCR/DVD hookups and their email accounts, i shudder to think of what cries for help i will send in jack's direction.
last night, as i was carefully extracting myself from one of those "sassy" exchanges of love for one another, i found myself skimming through old photos, getting back in touch with my "little man."
he used to "help out" with projects by pounding old logs with dada's big hammer. and now, eight years later, he helped remove hundreds of old logs to create an amazing venue for the first ever Live Green Music & Arts Festival.
he used to fight sleep with a passion, playing and creating until he literally exhausted every fiber of his three year old body. now, eight years later, he continues to attack every day with a passion, only giving up when his mind and body can give no more.
we live in a Fourth of July town, and the annual festival is as much a part of his calendar as his very own birthday. he is a proud American, a collector of state quarters and a scholar of American history. he is founded in family celebrations, and poised to carry our traditions well into the future.
he is a smart, incredibly articulate and energetic story teller. every childhood story was fodder for embellishment ("little nut brown hare, i love you to the moon and back." "mom, i love you to the moon and stay there! that's way more!") second grade, and the move to a new school, was a blessing for this child who has so much to tell.
little man, you are handsome and smart and strong. you are, in many ways, the strong foundation of our family. we will undoubtedly butt heads again. and again. i will cherish your "old man jenkins" grin, even when i am admonishing you to wash your face (again!) i will not vacuum up your teeny tiny DS games. i will read another chapter with you, even when i am tired. i will try to still be a "cool mom," even when i'm 40. (although, we will continue to use *my* definition of cool!)
i love you to the moon and stay there...