The other morning, when the weather was all, “And now…AUTUMN!” the baby and I stood in his room digging through a bin of last year’s school clothes. We were looking for a pair of pants that would fit. His 10 slims were now too short and too tight around the waist. At some point over the summer, my beanpole had gone and acquired a little meat for his bones finally. Those of you who saw him eat, or “eat,” as is more accurate, when he was a toddler will know what a relief this is. I think he consumed a total of 500 calories from the ages of 2 to 4.
But the 10 slims were all that we had and as I looked at his face contorting as he tried to determine if he could stand to wear a pair of them all day, I realized that he was just going to have to wear shorts.
“Well, there are a couple of ways you can play this,” I told him, as we walked to the bus stop, his chicken legs exposed to the brisk, dewy air. “You can pretend to be one of those people who claim that the cold doesn’t bother them and who wear shorts and tshirts in the middle of winter. Like, act super tough. Or just tell everyone that you have an extremely mean/irresponsible mother who made you wear shorts today.”
I forgot to ask which scenario he went with.
The baby is in fifth grade and in his last year at his sweet, little elementary school. I’ve noticed already that the homework is tougher and takes longer and there’s more of it and it makes me sad. The world is demanding more of him and his time now, time that the husband and I have to relinquish so that he can make his way. We don’t have as many spare hours in the evening to spend together because there’s work to be done.
He used to be mine to share with the world as much as I saw fit. Now he’s the world’s to share with me when there’s time.