Saturday, November 24, 2007

Growing Up

I've always considered Connor to be a sweet kid. His heart is usually in the right place, even when his actions would indicate otherwise. He might do things that drive us crazy, but most of the time it is out of carelessness rather than from some malicious need to be a butthead. Lately, though, he has been intent on testing boundaries in a way that seems very self-aware. There is a lot of backtalking and arguing just for the sake of seeing what will make his parents' heads explode. (Sample conversation: C: Mom, it's freezing in here! Me: Well, go take off your short pjs and put on some clothes so you won't be so cold. C: It's not cold in here!)

While my rational mind knows that all kids test boundaries on their way to independence, a part of me worries that he is going to quit being a sweet little kid and start being a full-time jerk. I want him to continue to show respect for others and to feel genuinely sorry when he does something wrong, instead of being sassy and doing things wrong on purpose. I know it's not that dire, but I still feel like I've done something wrong. I guess it's hard to accept that he's growing up- I thought he would still be my little baby boy at age four, rather than a borderline teen.

Fortunately, I still get to see my sweet child for at least a few minutes a day- at bedtime. We snuggle together in his bed, singing lullabies and enjoying the undivided attention of the other. Connor looks me in the eye and talks about his hopes and fears and although that sounds deep and philosophical, the beauty of it is that it's not. He's not hatching diabolical plots, or worried about life and death- he just hopes Max will be at school tomorrow, or he worries that Santa might forget to bring him a Transformer. Normal, sweet, four-year-old stuff. And I remember, for just a few minutes a day, that he really is still my baby.

1 comment:

An said...

one of the saddest things for my brother and sister is accepting the fact that their kids are growing up, you can see it in their eyes the way they look at their kids, wanting them to be that cute adorable child that clinches to their parent at ever possible moment, but as they grow, its all about becoming independent, its easy for me as an uncle to tell my sister that's part of growing up, but i'll always know that i'll need my mom, sort of difficult for me to explain w/o soundbytes, but all i can remember was how much i wanted to leave and now i think about now is how much i want to be home w/ her