When Beans was a baby, I looked with dread to the future when he would grow up and away from me.
He’s growing up way too fast, and lately I’ve been feeling horribly nostalgic about the way we used to spend our days together, hitting story time, going to the park or to the Museum of Discovery or to the library, running around the backyard and climbing in and out of the treehouse with toys and snacks or just reading and playing with blocks in the living room floor if that’s what we wanted to do.
It wasn’t always easy and it was by no means perfect. Our schedule was largely dictated (and disrupted on a regular basis) by my work requirements, and I was perpetually sleep-deprived because I did the bulk of my writing when he was sleeping. (He was not much of a sleeper, which meant precious little sleep for me.) That, combined with life’s other obligations, sometimes left me too tired to appreciate anything, let alone plan anything amazingly fun, and I’m sure I was snippy and impatient way too often.
But … I look back on those days fondly. I miss them horribly.
Beans seems not to remember much of anything that happened before last spring. I had heard tales of the “four-year memory dump” before – some strange phenomenon that supposedly happens around this time, causing children to forget most of what came before – but I had hoped it was complete hooey. Apparently, for us at least, it’s not. That makes me sad, though I think the basic premise (you know what I mean – the memory of the memories) stays, so that even if he doesn’t remember everything that happened, he remembers that overall, things were fun and that he felt safe and loved and happy (most of the time).
He’s in school five mornings a week now, and though we still have our afternoons, things are just not the same.
He’s a little tired when he gets out of school and by the time he has lunch and rests up it’s time for Tallulah to have a catnap. And some of the things Beans and I could do together now, Tallulah is too young or impatient to enjoy, so we end up not doing them at all.
But, through it all, we’re still pretty close, I think. He may not be a cuddly baby who never wants to leave my lap anymore – he and his dad are at a basketball game together at this very moment — but he still wants hugs, and he still asks me to play with him … and he has grown into a spectacularly funny kid that I love spending time with.
I don’t worry as much about him growing away from me as he grows up these days, because I’ve seen it in progress and I think — I hope — we’ll always be able to find some common ground.
I don’t understand all the boy-stuff he’s into these days – Super Hero Squad and Lego Batman just aren’t really my “things.”
But, as he said the other day, “Da knows everything about superheroes. You don’t know as much, but you’re learning.”