Warning: I’m probably going to blog this issue to death over the next few months. I apologize in advance. 😉
So, yeah, in a few months (a little less than three, to be exact), I will have a child in the double-digits as far as age goes. I am unprepared enough to deal with that prospect, much less all that comes with it. Logically, I *know* my children will grow up. They will change. They will go through new things. We won’t always see eye-to-eye. And I’m pretty sure I will be scared out of my wits at least once (with each kid). But I am not mentally prepared to start dealing with all of that yet. Ready or not, though, it seems to be coming sooner rather than later.
I still consider Ryley a little boy. He’s NOT a “little boy”, but he’s still small enough and young enough in my mind to not quite qualify as a BIG, big boy. Does that make any sense? Maybe because he’s my oldest, and all of this is unfamiliar territory. I still kinda panic when he heads to the bathroom by himself when we’re in a restaurant. I just, for the first time ever, let him go by himself more than 8 houses up the street, past the “curve” where I can no longer really see him. He was just going to get something, but I found myself practically holding my breath until I knew he was back safely. Granted, this is a new, scary world we live in and things just aren’t the same as they were when I was a kid and my parents let me ride my bike halfway across town without them tagging along. Ryley will not stay a little big boy no matter that I’m not ready.
I took the kids out to lunch the other day as a treat. They’d had to tag along on all my errands for two days, and had behaved pretty well, especially given their boredom level (we did not go anywhere “fun” for any of those errands). We sat down and the waitress was handing out the menus. Ryley balked at taking a children’s menu. Really? He refused to even look at, much less order off of, the kids’ menu. I guess crayons, word searches, tic-tac-toe and the like are not for almost-ten-year-olds. Neither are chicken nuggets, mini-pizzas, and kid-sized bowls of pasta. I was slightly stunned. One of my children eating a full, adult meal in a restaurant is completely new. Do you know, he ate almost the entire thing? We stopped at Target on the way home from lunch. Among other things, the kids all wanted new sunglasses. Another surprise – Ryley did not want any of the “cool” kid sunglasses. Transformers, Spiderman and such held no attraction for him. He ended up with a smaller pair of adult sunglasses.
I do have to say, there is a fun side to this growing up thing…..we had a real conversation. He has his own thoughts, his own perceptions, his own ideas. It’s just so much more interesting to talk sports and books with a kid than the latest episode of Star Wars Clone Wars or iCarly, or whatever the current rage is on the playground at school. I don’t have to like all of it though, do I? I want to hang on to my little boy as long as I can. As much as I love him becoming his own person, there is a bit of sadness in it. I am mentally unprepared. Even more, I am emotionally unprepared for this process of boy turning into big boy turning into teenager and then man.