I think that right now, right at this very second of his life- my son is at the perfect age.
He is 11. Eleven is the age of all things that meld into the perfect vortex of “BOY”. I have to say I can’t think of a time that might be better for him.
At this age,
- He is able to walk down the road by himself to visit a friend.
- He likes to go for walks with his Mom.
- He is happy to dance the cha-cha with me when we walk through the grocery store and the Chiquita Banana song comes on.
- He still grabs my hand in the parking lots. Or walking down the street.
- He can be counted on to run to the other side of the grocery store to get dog food/cereal/apples by himself.
- He wants to sit at the counter at a diner, because it’s cool.
- Mom is still cool, but sometimes annoying.
- Dad is not always cool, but still a hero.
- He still asks if clothes match when he is getting dressed.
- He had a haircut and spends time in front of the mirror styling it.
- He needs deodorant, and wears it.
- He looks shyly at girls while out.
- He swears he is going to live near me, forever.
- He has a favorite song on the radio and it’s a top 40 teen hit.
- He still wants goodnight snuggles and kisses.
- He still has a boy voice, but it starting to get man hair.
- He is still boy enough to play games and with toys.
- He will sing songs in the car at the top of his voice with me in the car.
- He’s not ashamed to have his favorite teddy bear his Babcia (my Mom) gave him on his bed. or to be caught sleeping with it.
- He’s still thrilled with a whole day to spend just with Mom.
This is the time where my heart is both swelling with pride, and breaking with loss. I can see my little boy, my little guy, my baby, at the same time that I see this amazing young man he is becoming. I know how quickly it changes. I see how it happened with my other child- when I was certain that she’s want to be my pal forever then it happened: she grew. I know that’s how it’s supposed to happen. I know they have to grow up, grow away, but please, oh please let me have this summer. Let me have 10 more weeks of snuggles on the couch and fights to sit next to me and the porch door opening to check, to be sure that I was there and to hours of sitting on the swing together. I need one more summer of fireflies and ladybugs and GI Joes and couch forts and stupid cartoons and sno-cones and my little boy. Please. Then I’ll grow up and let him grow up and away. Just not yet.