Friday, January 27, 2012

Peter Pan

As he approaches the ripe old age of 12, JT is a bundle of contradictions.  I suppose that this is the story of adolescence.  He's strong and tough, capable of carrying heavy things right up the stairs and eager to demonstrate that strength.  But he's sometimes surprised to discover that he is no longer a little peanut, as when he bangs his head climbing in the car.  He can't quite imagine that he really is that tall.  He's not entirely abandoned the pleasures of being a little boy; but when he flops into my lap I feel every ounce of his 5' 2" size.  When I tuck him into bed each night, that's not a little boy under the quilt.
As he has for years, he still enjoys playing outside.  His Playmobil guys remain familiar friends.  But he navigates the world of iPads and iPods like an expert.  Story and picture books have been replaced by Harry Potter and Sports Illustrated.  He listens to the news with an alert ear for injustice and he watches 60 Minutes.  More than occasionally he demonstrates a maturity in his assessments of the world that startles me with its insight and makes me proud of the young man he's becoming.

For Christmas,  JT received an alarm clock.  He's been thrilled with it, setting it to awaken him each morning, and generally treating it as evidence that he's on his way to adulthood, a process he welcomes.  Today, in the ultimate act of adolescence, he got braces on his teeth.  This too has delighted him as a rite of passage.  When those braces come off, he'll be 14 years old; preparing to enroll in the 9th grade.
 In these moments, I am struck by how incredibly fast the days and weeks are flying by.  Can it really be that it's been twelve years since I anticipated the arrival of a seven pound bundle who changed everything? 

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