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.”
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!”
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.