It’s official. Josh is now a boy. Not a little boy. There’s definitely a difference. In kindergarten he would jump off the bus right into my arms. Last year when I went to his classroom he’d give me a nod and a small smile, “hey mom, I see you are here and I’m glad, but this is the limit on the emotion that I’m going to show. ” I volunteered at his school’s field day and he didn’t even attempt to come to my booth. I used to be the preferred playmate, now I make him tell me three things about his day before he runs out the door until dinner time. He’s come into his own in small ways. He tells me with supreme confidence, “I’m the best at _______. The second best at ______. or I’m the worst at ______.” There is a definite ranking system in all recess activity.
He recently did an obstacle course called Kid’s Adventure Challenge which he’d begged and begged to do. The day of… it was freezing and raining. The course was desolate. There were maybe 10 other participants. But he did everything with a grin, water slides, climbing walls, tunnels…
Well almost everything. Crawling through the half frozen mud was his limit. He tip toed through the sludge and stepped over all the ropes, but we’ll give him a pass. He’s wearing his homemade BYU shirt because “he wanted it to get ruined.” His Dad was proud. I was proud of his perseverance and his attitude. He instinctively knew he was not getting out of it…. begging for the opportunity and the money involved had seen to that, so he decided to smile and enjoy it.
He also recently had a part in the 2nd grade school play. Imagine my surprise to find out that he was the comic relief; and he was funny. He did a fantastic job with his co-snake there next to him. My shy quiet boy was the comic relief in a play. That alone shows how little we know our own children. Constant surprises.
When we got out on dates now, I have to make sure he’s not facing the TV if there is any type of sports game on or I get, “Uh huh.” and absolutely no eye contact. Here he is watching girls college softball…. which led to an interesting chat about softball vs baseball and gender equality and differences (although the words we used were not that big). Did I mention he’s super fun to talk to now?
And here he is running back into the restaurant after our date because he has absolutely no planning skills. He sat down in the car and started dancing. Just as I’m backing up I hear, “Mom I really need to pee.” Why this never occurs to him or any of my children when we are inside by a bathroom, only outside buckled in the car is one of the great mysteries of the universe.Eight year old boys are independent, incredibly goofy, huge teases, (copying game is of the devil) loud stinky, opinionated, physical – why must boys always always be wrestling, jumping running or tickling?, obsessed with all things mythology, ancient Egypt (thank you Rick Riordan for our never ending commentary on the differences between diverse ancient gods), and minecraft… at least mine is.
But he also, still likes to cuddle at night, will give me hugs (if reluctantly) in public,and has full faith in me and my dreams. If you want to feel good about something you are trying to achieve tell your child – he will have no idea how hard or unrealistic any of your goals are, he will just assume it will happen. He cares deeply about his family and will defend them vehemently, is sensitive, and a loyal friend… I may just be a fan of who my children are becoming…. but maybe not an official fan of the whole growing up thing.