Jedi is growing in leaps. If his rising stature didn’t make this blatantly obvious, it’s his attitude. He has picked up all sorts of new phrases since going to school. For every question I ask him anymore, I am sure to be met with a “duh!” or “you already know the answer, so I’m not telling you!” or he just ignores me. He grumbles. He’s defiant. He’s a 7 year old. I’m not thrilled with this change, but I understand there’s a need to assert some separation and independence.
But underneath that thicker exterior still lies bursts of my little boy.
When Jedi was smaller, and still an only child, I would lay with him until he fell asleep each night. Just the two of us in quiet. I could listen as he’d babble himself to sleep and bask in the wonder of my growing son. Some nights, he couldn’t shut his eyes without my arm tightly wrapped around him. He was such a beautiful little boy, full of light and love. Time and additions eventually took over and he began to not need me in the same capacity anymore.
Then the other night, I rested next to Jedi in bed. I put my arm around him as he untucked himself just enough to place his around me. It was like old times, except heavier. He is three times longer, his limbs ganglier and stronger, his babbles now real paragraphs. There are gaps of teeth that he’s lost and fingernails that hold proof of friends at play. Like flashes of 7 years worth of stars bursting right before my eyes.
I laid there with my oldest son, arms around each other and our foreheads touching. My beautiful little boy, who’s more likely to talk back these days than to listen. But there are still those bursts, full of light and love.
“I could stay like this forever”, he whispered.
“Me, too”, I said. Me, too.