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Entries in growing up (3)


The purple racer

His pants are too short, his sleeves are too short, his shoes are too small. Every spring I find myself hoping he can just get through the last few chilly weeks and avoid the extra shopping trip before the cool weather returns in the fall, so if you see him wandering around in flood pants it's likely April or May. And he can now reach the top shelf of the refrigerator himself, too, which means that this horrible habit he has of growing is only going to continue, if not increase. 

But the one big shopping trip that can't be skipped every spring is the new bike. When I was young, my grandparents were in charge of bike replacement. It was a tradition. I remember one particular spring well: our shopping trip, the ensuing frustration of assembly, and an evening ride on my new mauve ten-speed before a grilled family dinner. These are fond memories, strengthened by the annual repetition of the ritual, and they are precious. So when my parents offered to continue that tradition with Calvin, we gladly took them up on it, and today we set out to procure his new two-wheeled transportation.

I'll tell you first that we tried shopping at our little local bike shop before we entered any big box store. But, while they had a very nice bike that would have suited Calvin well, they didn't have the one feature he wanted most of all: the color purple. So when we walked into Toys-R-Us and there, on the bottom rack right in front, was a purple bike with teal accents, it was love at first sight. He rode it once around the store and declared it perfect. Of course he'd likely have given the same verdict even if a wheel had fallen off, but it received a grandparent seal of approval as well, so home came the new purple racer, and even a chilly, rainy afternoon couldn't keep the kid from giving a spin. Over and over again. Many spins, really. And the first of many more.


Anywhere you go

Choir camp is over. We picked up our fast maturing son this afternoon from his first nights away from home and family in his entire youthful life. I will not pretend that I wasn't at least a wee bit disappointed when he wasn't overly excited to see us. Sure he was happy—all smiles and watching us from his place in the concert lineup—but he wasn't I missed you soooo much happy. He wasn't dog waiting eagerly by the front door oh my god I thought I'd never see you again happy.

This is a good thing. He had a fantastic time. He experienced no homesickness, and no panic at being in a totally unfamiliar situation. I am so very pleased with this. Really, I am. And his new tendency toward reticence, his reluctance to share details, is also a very positive sign of his self security and comfort. He is branching out and finding new worlds and they are sweet and exciting and they belong only to him, and he is reluctant to share them. It is a natural part of his growing up.

But so is that slightly poignant tug at my heart strings when he comes home in a blissful calm. He didn't need us. He barely missed us. He was stumped, in fact, as to why I had placed all those little notes in his stuff, because, after he was in bed the night before he left, I snuck sticky notes with (hopefully unembarrassingly) affectionate memos on them into a few spots in his suitcase, just in case he was lonely for home. A little "we love you" here, a little "good night!" there. And when he asked me why I had done that, in a non accusatory, simply curious way, I told him they were there to help him know that even when he is away we are thinking of him, just in case he needed that reminder.

Anywhere you go, I told him, we will always be there for you, sending you our love.



June 2007

July 2008

June 2012