Parenthood has taught me a lot, perhaps especially to appreciate a moment without holding on too tight, as it is those moments strung together that make up a happy lifetime. Lately, I'm finding that the moments just fly by. Unbelievably, in a little less than a month, my baby is going to turn nine years old.
My head knows that means JT is no longer my baby. And at well-over 4 feet tall, he's not even a little boy. But my heart is stubborn, and he'll always be that little bundle with the dark, shiny eyes that made my world anew not so long ago. In fleeting moments of an impish grin and a still chubby cheek, I see his past. But more often, when he opens the door for me or helps to take out the trash, I see the young man of the future.
And then there is the here and now, when JT reminds me just what it means to be eight-going-on-nine. Yesterday, as I was stretching my calves in preparation for working out, he called to me, "I see London, I see France. I see Mama's polka-dot underpants."
And then, on our way home from the market, a plastic spider he keeps on hand "bit" me and he drolly announced, "Well, now you'll be dead in two hours."
"Two hours?" I responded as a woman eager for instant gratification, "why isn't it an instant death?"
"This way you'll have time to make my supper," the boy explained. And then he offered up the antidote to my spider bite. It was a kiss.
So here I am at the intersection of JT's past and his future, that point where my little boy journeys forward to be a young man. And I am pausing to be glad of every minute of it.