Once, when he was only 500 days old, I remember he stood next to me where I was sitting on the living room rug and we hugged. Just hugged. And I thought, well, he’s a toddler now, not a baby anymore, that baby is all gone, but at least we can still do this.
I leaned into the hug and took a deep breath of it and let it fill me and it was perfect. Still perfect. And then I realized: I’m not ready for him to move on. And then I lost it. Slow down, I thought. Slow down, Nick. I’m just not ready to move on.
That was 2400 days ago.
Up until he was five or six, he believed in fairies. We have a patch of Nasturtium growing wild in the front yard. Nora calls them “volunteers.” The leaves are good for salads, also for hiding fairies. Nick and I would sit ourselves down and call to them there, even though we couldn’t see them. Sometimes they’d answer.
He’s eight now, and wants to be a teenager. He told me so this evening when we came in from our walk.
Then he said, “Will you read to me tonight?”
Usually Nora reads at bedtime, and Nick and I listen. But lately I’ve been claiming a couple of nights a week. I want to read him Tom Sawyer because I think he’d love it. But he wants me to read Captain Underpants. Which I do, assuming different voices for all the characters.
“You read very good,” he said when the story was done.
He thought a moment, and said, “I love you, dada.”
He still calls me that. Then he planted a kiss smack on my lips. And I thought, well, he’s not a little boy anymore, that little boy is gone, but at least we’re still doing this. I leaned into the kiss and took a deep breath of it. Still perfect it was.
And I had that thought: I’m not ready. And I lost it again and I wanted to say to him, Nick, please. It’s too fast. There’s maybe only a thousand days of this, this childhood, left. And when it’s done it will all be a dream. So can’t you please just slow down, because I’m not ready for you to move on.
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This post: In between
And this one: The kids grow up way to fast
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