He Is Not a Child Anymore

by Stefani on 9-July-2008

There are million little milestones that one passes through on the journey from child to adult.

There are, of course, those that we all celebrate and write down (or feel guilty about because we neglected to write them down), like the first time they sat up, or ate cereal or lost a tooth.

Then, there are those other little milestones, the ones that are more fleeting, less obvious, but still they are the small bits that comprise a large shift – boy to man.

I remember the day when my middle son, my James, ran through the kitchen. A drawer was open, but he didn’t slow down at all because he’d always cleared that drawer before. This time, his little head hit it full on. He had grown too tall.

There was the time too, just a few weeks back, when I gathered up my laptop and prepared to go and sit with my youngest until he fell asleep, just like I’ve always done, and he informed me, “I don’t need you to sit with me anymore. I can go to sleep all by myself.”

Oh.

And he has, ever since.

These things happen regularly around here – the relentless march to manhood carries on.

Today there was a new one though…

“I am not a child anymore,” my eldest son declared, barging in my bathroom as I showered.

I thought, “no, you aren’t, and that is precisely why it weirds me out some that you’re standing in my bathroom right now.” (Not long ago, I wouldn’t have thought twice about it. When did that weirdness creep in?)

“What?” was all I said though, peeking my head around the shower curtain.

“I’m not a child! This is a childproof cap, and I can open it! Watch!”

He is Not a Child Anymore

Sure enough, he did.

“Wow! Good for you!” I said.

“Crap” I thought.

He was incredulous, saying, “It was right there all the time, on the top of the bottle – the instructions, ‘While Pushing Down, Turn.’ It’s on all the medicine tops! I checked. Did it always say that or did they just start putting that on there?”

“They’ve always said that, honey. It’s just that you can read it now.”

He shook his head, smiling at the absurdity of it all – that the instructions for moving past childhood had been right under his nose all these years.

emily July 9, 2008 at 8:41 pm

stefani, i always love visiting you here. you make me nod, and say of course, every time. (and put those medicines up high! i’m off to do the same.)

Mia July 9, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Wow, excellent post- I’m beginning to experience that with my own little boy and it’s so wonderful and scary every time!

Wanda the Owl July 10, 2008 at 12:25 am

I think it’s amazing to see children learn and discover things (although the scarier things are probably harder to watch), I don’t have any of my own yet but I was a summer camp counselor long enough to learn that it’s an exciting experience… 🙂

Also wanted to say thank you for the wonderful comment on my blog!

christi July 10, 2008 at 1:25 am

hehe i can remember when i figured it out. it is just there on top of the bottle. however.. and i am ashamed to admit it, that sometimes i fail at making the lid come off and have to get someone else to do it!:)

caroline July 10, 2008 at 2:52 am

Oh, that’s fabulous! My favorite is the twinkle of recognition in their little eyes. “Aaaahhhhh! I see!”

Eren July 10, 2008 at 3:14 am

Oh yes…those milestones that no one but a mama could count. Ian was carrying Wyatt around on his back yesterday and I found myself stopping just short of saying “put him down, you’ll drop him on his noggin”. Because he had him…totally under control and giving him the best big brother horse ride he could. Reading has been a big one for us around here too. Love this post Stef.

erin July 10, 2008 at 4:25 am

that happened here this summer too. i love seeing the lightbulb go off over their heads. so amazing.

Caroline July 10, 2008 at 4:30 am

I know exactly what you mean. My 15 yo is taller than me and is starting to call me “little mama” lol. He and my 14 yo are both starting to shave (out of need not want) and showing me their manly hair under their armpits. lol BOYS!!

Thank goodness my 8 yo is still little although I have walked past the bedroom door to see him looking under his armpits hoping for the day he can run out and tell me lol.

Mama Urchin July 10, 2008 at 5:03 am

I have so many conversations through my shower door.

Crystal July 10, 2008 at 5:14 am

I second that ‘Crap’. It hurts your heart and makes you proud at the same time. This growing up is emotional buisness.

I don’t think I have been alone in the bathroom in YEARS. I have a 12 year old ,5 year old, and 8 month old. They don’t even bat an eyeball when I am dripping wet, screaming, get the hell out of my bathroom!

elissa July 10, 2008 at 5:24 am

this post is cracking my can this morning! i swear this is me with calvin…. shower door an all. love these stories.

Lynn July 10, 2008 at 5:39 am

Yes. All too fast. My boys went by themselves (in the CAR) to a music rehearsal last night. Today they will go to have their violin lessons in the next town! Even though we have been there numerous time I have gone over the route with them over and over, on the map. Using words. Were they paying attention? They are sure it will be fine. “MOOoooOOOM,” they say. Yeah, well, it still seems like yesterday that I was changing their diapers. How can they take my van to another town? Still, I appreciate that I will have that three hours of my life back each week.

Carolyn July 10, 2008 at 5:39 am

Great post. I bet the little one going to sleep on his own was particularly hard. It’s bittersweet because it is a joy watching them grow but it reminds you of how you only have them under your roof temporarily and you have to cherish it. They say it goes so fast and mine are still pretty small but I agree already!

Sarah July 10, 2008 at 5:39 am

Love it.

Mandy July 10, 2008 at 5:46 am

You could tell a story about one of those boys picking their nose and I would still probably think it was the sweetest thing ever! I just love em!

Natalie July 10, 2008 at 5:47 am

Brilliant. I love these moments.

Bluebirdbaby July 10, 2008 at 6:02 am

This is the sweetest thing ever. It made me smile! Love your banner, by the way 🙂

bizzymommy July 10, 2008 at 6:38 am

wonderful post, made me smile and be happy sad , if there is such a thing! crap is right! and although you don’t want him going around opening medicine bottles , doesn’t it just feel awesome to know it was you who taught him to read?!? :0)

Aujah July 10, 2008 at 8:48 am

Ahhh what sweet times. Confirms even more my want for children.

Aileen July 10, 2008 at 9:47 am

Too funny! I can just picture the shaking of the head, and the thinking…”those adults sure aren’t too smart putting those directions right there on top of the bottle.”

Grace July 10, 2008 at 11:51 am

Wow. This almost brought a tear to my eye. You must be the best writer in blogland. Seriously.

Kristi Richards July 10, 2008 at 3:06 pm

that is so funny! ohh if adulthood was only that easy!

Annette July 10, 2008 at 3:31 pm

This is a wonderful, wonderful story.

MrsMK July 10, 2008 at 3:51 pm

Hilarious!!!! I feel that strangeness, too, now…..my oldest lost his second tooth yesterday, and it hits me now…. these are the best days of my life…..what am I doing with them?

Tiffany July 10, 2008 at 4:36 pm

What a wonderful post. You always seem to grab a moment out of life at our home and out just the right sound to the story. I can remember when my eldest had a growth spurt at 3 and didn’t quite clear a door facing. (Running too fast to turn on a dime like before.) But Boy do we have the issue with the showers! Just a little privacy puhleeeze!

Dallas July 10, 2008 at 7:42 pm

So cute – a wonderful story, told beautifully.

mountain mama July 10, 2008 at 8:20 pm

Oh yes, just the other day, my Middle girl ran through the pantry hall between the kitchen and the sunroom and knocked her head on the doorknob. She never hit it before then and came away with such a knot on her head, poor girl.

Who knew growing pains were actually going to be real growing pains!

Jackie July 11, 2008 at 8:46 am

It’s all so bittersweet isn’t it? Love to see the men my boys are becoming, but so wistful for the times that have passed. My youngest just turned 10, and he’s the only one I still lay down with at night, knowing that every night draws us closer to the end. It’s the last summer of reading picture books before bed too. *sigh*

Sarah July 11, 2008 at 2:12 pm

You make me so excited for the adventures of motherhood that I hope are in my future!

kristin July 11, 2008 at 3:53 pm

again, your writing is like butter to me.

familiar and soothing. and it stays with me…like butter will.

Tonya July 21, 2008 at 5:03 am

It might just be that I’m pregnant, but this brought tears to my eyes. How sweet.

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