Thursday, January 26, 2012

grownupness

Things 1 & 2 came in from an evening with the outlaws last night.  Barely all the way in the door Thing 2 said, "Mom? Can you still pick me up?" I said kinda head turny scrunchy face, "Probably?" thinking, like, can I pick you up at all?  What the...where did that come from? Maybe?

"Can I pick you up like a baby you mean?"
"Yeah, like that.  Can you?"
"I'm sure I can.  Because...y'know...," hip thrown to the side, "I work ooouuut" (from the "I'm Sexy and I Know It" song that cracks us up in the car). Okay, challenge accepted, "C'mere.  Let's see." I scooped him up and sure enough, I can still pick him up like a baby.

I can still pick up Thing 2 too which is good to know just in case we find ourselves in an extreme unction situation.  And that began a round of lifting exercises.  They can pick each other up like babies and in a fireman's carry but neither of them would even try to lift me.  Which, I have to say, kinda miffed me a little bit.

"So, if the house was on fire and I was incapacitated from smoke inhalation neither of you are going to even try to carry me out? You're each just gonna grab a leg and drag me?  I'll have a bald spot on the back of my head from that!  There'll be a blood trail through the driveway!  That *I* am going to have to clean up later!  Thanks, guys.  Thanksalot." They melted into tears of laughter.  I shuffled them off to bed.

Lately (and in the near future I expect) we're dealing with the world in ways that prompt boys of age 10 (in two weeks) and 11 (and a half) to decide who they are as people.  I watch them figuring out what kind of Men they're going to be. But they still have a strong foothold in boyness as far as I can see. Which is a lot like most grown men I know come to think of it.

Anyway, we talk about things like where they want to go to college and what kind of dads they're going to be and when I'm going to let them move out.  These are all great things for them to be considering in my opinion and I don't think it's too young for them to make these decisions for themselves at all. At least with guidance.

They think they want to go to Tech, except the shootings freak them out. So I tell them we'll go back up to DC pretty soon and they can walk around my college and see what that's like. Nothing against Tech, but the shootings kinda freak me out too. They want to be "active" dads who do stuff with their kids and play and hang out and teach them stuff that's good to know. I fully support this and admire them immensely for it. They want to get apartments with their friends when they're 16 and can drive and have jobs. I do not support this and put my foot down on the terms that they will move out no sooner than mid-college. They will get summer jobs in high school but no moving out. School is their job and they have the rest of their lives to be burdened with grown up responsibilities like paying bills and keeping food on the table. They protest only mildly from their snuggly beds before asking me to get them glasses of water. with ice. from the fridge not the tap.  uh huh. That's right monkeys, savor this as long as you can.

I do want them to be independent. I love that they're getting older and wanting to do grown up things. I love teaching them to cook and do laundry and navigate the world. The only thing that bothers me is Thing 1 wanting a girlfriend but not knowing how to get girls' attention, and not knowing what to do with it if he ever did. Of course he steadfastly refuses to talk with me about this and that is completely understandable because "Mmm-o-o-o-OOM! shut. UP!"

So I told him, "Look, I don't know anything at all about what it's like to be an 11 year old boy, okay? So I can't tell you a single thing about that and I'm not even going to try so you don't have to worry about that conversation. But I do know what it's like to be an 11 year old girl. If you have any questions about things girls do or what they might be thinking, you can always ask me." He rolled his eyes and considered it. "Okay," he said. Looked like progress to me.

There are so many things coming up in their lives that they don't see coming. For now they just need to know that I'm strong enough to pick them up and carry them. whether they like it or not.










2 comments:

TazLady said...

Hi Silver - your post really made me stop and think. I have an 18 year old son who is growing up to ba a kind, caring, responsible man (who still takes care of his Mama). As he gets older, I find myself thinking back to his younger self, and I thought, we have all kinds of ways to track the "firsts" for our kids - first tooth in, first tooth out, first time sitting up, first haircut, etc etc. But we never think about the "lasts" - I guess because we don't realize until after the fact that they really are the last time something will happen. Example, when was the last time my son was small enough that I could carry him to bed when he fell asleep on the couch? If I'd known at the time I was carrying him to his room that it would be the last time, would I have savored the moment? Time flies so fast - I am thrilled at the man my son has become, because I know that sweet baby boy is still in there somewhere!
~MARIA~

Silver said...

Maria, you made me think about the "lasts" very much today. Heavy stuff. good, but...definitely head turning. thanks for that.