Perhaps I'm just being oddly emotional but the last few weeks I've been in awe over how quickly my biggest boy is growing and changing. He's really developed into his own little person with his own thoughts, attitudes and so much independence. It all started with last week's discovery of his first loose tooth...
Luca, when you started kindergarten 8.5 months ago, you were still so small and still needed your Mommy. Your cheeks still held the tiniest bit of baby fat and you still had that childlike look about you. Now, you've grown so much in the last few months that it seems like every time you put on a pair of jeans, they are inches too short. Your face has thinned out and you look so much more grown up. I love the soft dusting of freckles across your nose and under your big blue eyes.
And don't even get me started on that loose tooth. As soon as it falls out, your smile will forever change. First it will be the hole left by that tiny baby tooth, then it will be awkward, goofy looking, teeth-too-big-for-your-face look and finally, hopefully a beautiful set of teeth in a dazzling smile.
In the last month or so, you've decided to just wear shorts or pj pants to bed- no shirt anymore. When you come downstairs for breakfast wearing just jammie shorts and a bare chest, I have to stop for a moment and gather myself because you just look so...so grown up. What happened to the days of matching pj sets and snuggles with my jammie footed little boy? Sigh.
You are becoming so independent. I don't want to ever forget how excited you are when I let you do things on your own- like the first time I let you go to your kindergarten door without me walking you from the truck or the first time I let you walk down the street to meet friends. Of course, I stood at the end of the driveway and watched you every step of the way- my feet waiting to run to you if you showed even the slightest bit of needing your mama. But the grin you wore on your face and the way you walked proud as a peacock told me you were ready to do things on your own.
You are getting so close to riding a two-wheeler all by yourself. By the end of the summer, you'll be cruising along. Before I know it you'll be getting your drivers' license and wanting to borrow the truck. Yikes!
You are reading so well. You started Kindergarten knowing letters and sounds and you knew how to spell your first name. Now, you are sounding out words all over the place- naming stores as we drive past them and reading labels on the cereal boxes. You can write your entire name- first, middle and last. You're sounding out words and writing little sentences on the whiteboard at home. In 8 months, you have been cruising along though 5 Home Reading levels.
Maybe its the teacher in me, but this is a huge milestone and my Mommy-heart is just bursting with pride. Once the doors to reading have been opened, its not something that you can ever take away. You will never forget how to read the English language. Without even thinking about it, when you look at something as you walk past, you will read the sign above a door or the advertisement hung in a window. You have taken huge steps, my son. Knowing this skill is one of the foundations to everything you will do in your life.
One of your favorite things to do right now, besides play computer games, is to build LEGO sets with the directions. You are getting so good at following each step of the directions until you have your masterpiece in your hands. And there it is again- that look of pure pride and joy when you bring it over to show me what you've accomplished.
One of my favorite things is to watch you and Levi when you don't realize I'm watching. When you get all "big brother" on him and try to teach him how to do something. The other morning at breakfast, while I stood quietly in the corner of the kitchen sipping my coffee, you tried to teach Levi some of the moves from your Spring Fling dance. You were so patient with him- breaking it down into tiny steps and helping him until he got it right. You were so encouraging- saying things like "You can do it, buddy" or "You've got this!". That right there- those 5 glorious minutes- erased the frustration of the fighting from the day before. Levi is so lucky to have such a cool brother. I hope that you both teach the other wonderful things throughout life.
Of course, with this newfound independence comes the bit that drive Mommy and Daddy nuts- the talking back and trying to find how your opinions fit into our daily schedule. The bossing around of your brother. The frustration when things don't go quite your way. I try to remind myself that this is all part of growth and that with the exciting new developments come the ones that you have to figure out as well.
Earlier this week you were invited to attend Beavers with a friend. As I dropped you off, you were so eager to go, you gave me a one armed barely-there hug and away you went, leaving me staring at the closed door and just feeling the internal struggle of pride and sadness. I am so proud of you- I'm proud of your confidence to go without me and your eagerness to try new things. I'm proud and happy with the friendships you have. But I'm sad that my first little baby is no longer a baby. You're growing up so quickly, my boy. In a few short months you will start Grade 1. You will spend more hours in a day away from me than with me. That's hard. I know it is a rite of passage and everyone goes through it. Its just the way it is. And its just the first of many of these growing up moments to come. I'll just have to deal with it.
I love you, son. I love these "growing up" moments, even if they are hard at times. While I know there will be moments that I look back and miss my little chubby faced, jammied baby boy, I also know that there will be so many more exciting things to come as you get older.
Now, please excuse me while I go cry into my coffee....