My sweet sonshiny son is 9 1/2 years old, which means that double digits (and everything that goes along with that) is soon upon us. This also means that I have successfully survived 9 1/2 years of parenthood (and everything that goes along with that too).
9 1/2 years of holding hands.
9 1/2 years of ‘mom.’ The best gig ever. Parents of teenagers don’t appear to feel this way, so I am clinging and hoping for the best.
9 1/2 years of not ever once going to the bathroom without being interrupted.
9 1/2 years of fear and trepidation about every kind of ‘what if’. Times one hundred.
9 1/2 years of kissing his sleeping profile when I turn in for the night.
9 1/2 years of (not so) secretly enjoying marshmallow cereal right alongside him.
9 1/2 years of acting like I know what I’m doing. Which has actually resulted in mostly knowing what I’m doing. I anticipate this confidence shifting with those double digits.
9 1/2 years of understanding that my own inquisitiveness, which now resides in him too, might have gotten on my parents’ nerves on occasion.
9 1/2 years of laughter.
9 1/2 years of desperate prayers for protection and wisdom.
9 1/2 years of keeping the little in my little boy. I know that this will change with double digits. That is good and normal and quite frightening.
9 1/2 years of memorizing BMX skills, monster truck names, and NFL quarterbacks. Included here is 9 1/2 years of mustering up interest in things that don’t naturally interest me.
9 1/2 years of being (perceived as) a cool mom. I realize that double digits might change this.
9 1/2 years of respecting this little blonde person.
9 1/2 years of fooling and joking with each other and the humor of sarcasm. This, I might regret.
9 1/2 years of daredevil shenanigans. Rarely resulting in stitches, thank God.
9 1/2 years of attending sports practices, sports games, sports events, sports anything and everything.
9 1/2 attempted years of developing his palate away from mac n cheese to anything with spice or sauce. We’ve come a long way on this one. Thank you red pepper flakes.
9 1/2 years of realization that he is not mine. He is his own.
9 1/2 years of books. Board. Story. Chapter. Parenting.
9 1/2 years of mistakes and forgivenesses. This is very much a two way street.
9 1/2 years of beloved dog and duck.
9 1/2 years of reminders.
9 1/2 years of elastic waistbands. For him, you guys.
9 1/2 years of spoon-feeding the knowledge of dangers and evils and self preservation.
9 1/2 years of wishing that this would never end. My feet now fit into his shoes for crying out loud.
9 1/2 years of the exact same made up nighttime song. And also Puff the Magic Dragon.
9 1/2 years of trusting strangers to teach and lookout for him; at school, at church, coaches and just folks in nearby vehicles.
9 1/2 years of ‘this is cool’ and ‘this is no longer cool’.
9 1/2 years of enthusiastic conversations. We are similar in this way.
9 1/2 years of congratulatory knowledge that I picked the best guy to parent alongside. His dad is dreamy.
9 1/2 years of anxiety about watching this all slip away.
9 1/2 years of camping. That’s a lot of cold nights in Oregon.
9 1/2 years of listening to him talk to himself. I hope this never ends. Then again, it would be strange if it didn’t ever end. Isn’t that just the case with all the cutenesses of kids? They have to end at some point or we would have a lot of strange adults walking (and I guess, crawling) around.
9 1/2 of the best years of my life.
“Let’s have a baby,” we said. “It’ll be fun.” we said. 9 1/2 years ago we made the best decision of our lives.
Dedicated to my sweet boy. You, darling child, are everything.