Sunday, July 5, 2015
To The Boy
We were sitting, you on your DS and me reading while snacking on cauliflower with cucumber dill dip, when you asked if you could try a bite. I, knowing your extremely picky palette, was not exactly hopeful that you would enjoy but acquiesced anyway partially out of morbid curiosity imagining what sort of gagging noise and horrid face you might make this time after you had barely touched your tongue to it. To my surprise, you didn’t squint your face up and making your usual round of retching noises. Instead, it was a face of mild interest followed by only half a grimace, but in my steadfast watchfulness I noticed the smile threatening to spill forth before you opened your mouth.
“Not bad,” you said. “It has a bit of an aftertaste, but I can DILL with it.”
You didn’t burst out laughing, but looked at me knowingly, cunningly even. The joke laid out so well, so punny, that I couldn’t stop my giggles giving that look on your face a little more strength and a whole lot more satisfaction.
I was struck in that moment how it seems that overnight you’ve become something all your own. In the blink of an eye almost, you grew from the sandy blond baby who laughed uncontrollably at the silliest things to making me laugh with your own quick wit, puns, and smartassery.
You’ve evolved from loving any sort of music I play to finding your own styles and loves, to discovering things that speak to your own core.
We watch movies or read books together and notice different things gathering different meanings from what we see or read and enjoying the chance to talk about it and enlighten each other.
You have your own taste in clothes no longer content to let me pick it all out and want your hair your way worn the way you want.
I look at you, a perfect mixture of me and your father…you with his eyebrows and my freckles, his eyes and my nose, his lips and my smirk and it's hard not to think of you as my baby. It seems nearly impossible that you, almost 10, have grown from the tiny little wiggler that thought it quite hilarious to play in the toilet or eat cat food or shove a green bean up your nose to the almost-tall-as-me ball of limitless energy you are now.
I see my influence, assuredly, whenever we talk, when you make me laugh, when you give me that look of exasperation because I. just. Don’t. get. It. I can’t look at you without seeing a little bit of me, can’t talk to you without knowing that I’ve been someone you love and look up to, and that certainly makes me proud, full to bursting. But, I suppose the thing that makes me proudest is that same independence that shocked me as a sat giggling at your little pun. I love that you are becoming your own self not content to mirror me, to share in everything I love because I love it. I am so proud to watch you explore and to want to exert your own identity on the world, to seek out what makes you happy unafraid that I won’t like what you do. You only care if *you* like it and that is an incredible feat at just shy of 10 years.
I want so desperately for you to be your own man, and I see you are headed in just that direction. It thrills me to no end to see these changes in you, changes you are unafraid to make because you know through and through that I will love you always and forever no matter what you like or who you are. I have told you that time and again, but it means so much to see that you have taken that to heart and are content knowing that even if you do listen to dubstep, I love you no less even while I squint my face and make retching noises.