Well, here we are. I guess I knew it would come to this, I just didn't know how it would twist my insides into knots. I'm talking about that point in life where the sadness and sweetness intersect.
Will is 5 ... that age where some days we shop in the toddler section and other days, we have to cross the aisle to the boys section. Who knew such an insignificant thing could consume so much of my thoughts? But it's more than just the clothes and the shoe sizes... it's his personality. He's becoming a "big" boy.
For the last two years or so, I've fallen in love with the way little kids talk. You know, all those head-turning mispronunciations.
For us, it started at the dinner table. Every night, Will would sing the blessing he learned at school and when he got to the part that says "And our many blessings...," he would proudly sing " And our many glessings..."
Time and time again, my husband tried to correct him and yet, every night it was a "glessing," not a "blessing." Soon enough, I got on the "glessing" bandwagon too which caused my husband tremendous heartburn.
Then, there were the days he'd come home to tell me about what he'd learned from his friends about "Dark Vapor." After a mini-conversation, I figured out it was Darth Vader ... but, it didn't matter to him what we called the character. The guy is big and bad and cool. Not too long ago, he wanted to go buy a movie of "Snoofy." I told him he probably meant Snoopy .... but, I was shot down with "No, mama... it's SNOO-FEE!!"
Recently, I realized I was the only one saying "glessing" and it made me sit up straight. It wasn't an "ah-ha" moment, it was an "uh-oh" moment. Sure enough, the next day he was playing with his cars and he did a major fist pump in the air and shouted "Awesome, I am so cool!" What? Where had my little squishy baby boy gone?
And then, the real zinger came. He got up in my face one night, placed both hands on my cheeks and looked me in the eye. He said "Mama, I need to tell you something. When you drop me off at school, give me a high five or shake my hand."
My heart broke right then and there. It shattered. But, mamas are good at rallying when we need to and that's what I did. The next day at school, I chased him around the classroom, swooped him up and smothered him with kisses. His friends laughed and he doubled over with happiness.
I know there will be other life intersections like this down the road and I know these "little boy" days are numbered. I plan to squeeze the most out of them that I can. Besides, he still thinks the silly little cartoon dog is Snoofy.... and that's something, isn't it?
Julia is a reporter for WRAL-TV and the mother of a preschooler. She writes monthly for Go Ask Mom.