Monday, October 08, 2007

Boys to (Young / Very Young) Men

Recently a friend with much younger sons – hers are two and four – asked me how motherhood looked from where I sit not, with kids aged 9 and 13.

Not quite knowing where to begin, I simply told her about my week: On Saturday, my 9-year-old and I slogged our way through the “Choose to Refuse” booklet about – you guessed it – drugs, tobacco and alcohol and I learned that ‘Special K’ is more than a breakfast cereal….We spent the better part of last Sunday afternoon and Thursday evening attending open houses at two private high schools with the 8th grader and learning to stay more or less in the background (not that we can afford private high school without forgoing groceries for four years, mind you, but one can browse)….Fall season baseball started and one of my kids (I promised not to say which) took three days to work up the courage to tell me he needed a bigger size athletic cup….my 13-year-old came scouting for new books to read (sorry, novels) on the shelves of my writing office…the 4th grader has started to hand-in-hand with me on the two blocks from where we park our car only until we get to the corner where he turns to the school, then abruptly yanks his hand out -- and is that a bit of a strut I detect in his stride as he waves `bye?...

All of which is just fine, expected and very normal.

But the thing that made me cry – most recently, that is – was when I was heading out the other day for the annual community pumpkin sale and I asked who was coming along – more as a formality, because after all, wasn’t everyone? – and not a single male in the household spoke up.

And while this meant I could pick out any pumpkin I wanted without anyone arguing that it was too lopsided, too round, too square, too big, too large, too orange, not orange enough… hit me: I don’t have “little” children anymore.