Tomorrow my eldest son graduates from elementary school. 5th grade. 11 years old.
How did this happen?
I’m not one to relive the good ol’ days.. I love my boys at every age even more than the age before. It’s true.
When they were born, newborn was my favorite age.. Nothing like a newborn. Until they are 3 months…then there is REALLY nothing as cute as a 3 month old. But at 6 months they start crawling and at 9 months try to be a little independent. And those were my favorite.
But when they turned one and started walking and falling … that was my favorite. Then they turned two and started talking and making up words. That was my favorite.
When they were three they started playing soccer. Little tiny boys in shin guards and shorts down to their ankles, picking blades of grass and staring at the clouds and having no idea they were even on a soccer team, much less a soccer field…. that was my favorite.
Four and five found them in pre-school with friends and socialization and finger paints and letters. They learned about George Washington and Eskimos and built tee-pees out of construction paper and clay. That was my favorite.
Then they went to Kindergarten. And it got harder. There was social pressure, and strict teachers and expectations. They would come home and tell me about their day. That was my favorite.
First and Second grade brought an onslaught of homework and extra-curricular activities. We fought. I yelled. They pouted and sometimes yelled back. They made me a little crazy. They talked like men. They spoke of their day in terms like “Actually, indeed, and do you realize?”. They were no longer babies.. they were boys. It was my favorite.
Third grade… the beginning of real academic expectations. And for Number One..a rapid downward spiral leading to his diagnosis of gluten-intolerance. Our best and worst year ever. I hated him and loved him. He hated everyone. We got it figured out. Thank God. It was not my favorite, but we were back on track.
Fourth grade.. I had a little man. A boy who was the man of the house when his daddy was traveling. A boy who was too cool to hold my hand in public but cuddled around me at night. A boy who got exasperated with me at every turn yet would wake up and say “Mornin’ Mama.. I love you” It was my favorite.
And now we are here. Fifth grade. A boy with a cell phone. A boy who rides his bike freely to unknown locations as long as he’s home at a certain time. A boy who watches the Military and History channels for fun and tries to teach me things about weapons of mass destruction and World War II. A boy with a big brain, a bigger heart and almost no common sense. We argue incessantly. We yell at each other. Then we cuddle like cats. And when I wake him up he says “Good Morning Mom. I love you”.
And after tomorrow…. we are on to middle school. And i can’t even think about it. It’s gonna be awesome. And terrible. It’s going to hurt my heart. We are going to argue. And yell at each other. And he is going to deal with social pressures he’s never known. And he will be fine. And we will cuddle. For as long as he’ll let me, we will cuddle. And I will appreciate every day that he wakes up and says ” Good Morning Mom. I love you”.
Happy Graduation Number One. I am so proud.
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