It seems to have happened overnight, but no one warned me it would happen. It must have been a slow, gradual, incremental change; one that comes about so slowly that you are sure to be slapped upside the head when it shows one day, but it seemed to happen so quickly.
I've never been one to dwell on the past much. I just keep moving forward; looking on to each new phase, but this shift caught me off guard.
In July, I went to bed having a little 7 year-old son and woke up with a big 8 year-old son.
I look at him and am amazed at how lean and lanky his body seems. His feet almost as large as mine. His jaw and chin are so angular. His cheekbones more prominent. Not so very long ago his face and body were rounder, softer, younger.
Words have always been his strength, but even here there is a pronounced change. He speaks with more experience and confidence when explaining something to me. He asks deeper, more complicated questions. He uses sarcasm and wit with flawless precision and understands when it's being used on him.
The first few weeks of 8 have caught me by surprise. I catch myself gazing in wonderment at this child, trying to put my finger on all the tiny changes that made such a difference.
My little boy is still in there in ways. I can still see him and hear him at times, but soon all traces of that boy will be gone, and my son will be 14 and counting the days until he gets his license and beginning to consider college choices and a getting summer job. And again, I will gaze in wonderment and think, "how did we get here?"
I wonder what the rest of this year will bring for my bright and special boy; the child who made me a mom; the child who is so like me; the child who is so different from me. Over and out…