Bob's birthday was yesterday. He is eight years-old. I was feeling fine about this and then on the way to school this morning I saw a boy, much younger than Bob, perhaps three years-old or so, and I remembered my boy at that age, walking in his tiny cargo shorts and sneakers. The feelings came rushing up to meet me and I couldn't believe it's all happening so quickly. He is eight years-old.
Last week, for the first time, Bob decided he'd rather not hold my hand when we cross the street. He's been old enough to walk beside me without holding hands for some time but he always did anyway, it was a habit. A sweet habit that I will now miss. He's is eight years-old and holding hands is for little kids. He's not a little kid, Mom.
I can still feel the weight of lugging my big baby around in his car seat. Now, he is eight years-old and is no longer legally required to use a booster seat. When I picked him up from school yesterday, he picked up his booster and heaved into the very back of the station wagon, "Goodbye forever, baby seat!" We high fived then and oh, my heart.
He is eight years-old and our conversations have become deeper, his vocabulary more grown-up his sentences layered with his philosophies, his very particular Bob-ness. He is eight years-old and he can't wait to share his jokes about bodily functions and at the same time there is a kindness and an empathy there and my little boy is becoming a bigger boy.
I am grateful every day to be the steward of this kid, God's kid, and my challenge to do my best with him and ultimately just not mess it up too much. Today he is eight years-old plus one day. One more messy, dirty, gorgeous, ordinary day of childhood.