My mom warned me.
The years....they fly by.
Before you know it the preschooler that clung to your knees in shrugging off hugs as
they run to make it to class before the elementary school bell.
And then they fly away.
To Washington DC for their eighth grade trip.
And you are left thinking, "What the heck?"
Because clearly, you are a profound thinker.
Or maybe it is just me.
Jack is 14.
He is taller than Scott and me and sporting a trace of a mustache
which we both can't stop staring at.
(Jack: "Dad, what are you looking at?" Scott: "I can't take my eyes of your mustache..."
Jack: "You are weird.")
We are not weird. We are perplexed.
When did this happen?
When did he become the one who was big enough to give piggy back rides...to his mother?
When did his voice take on that hint of bass?
Wasn't it just last year that he professed a deep love for "wubber wizards"?
(wubber wizards = rubber lizards...just in case you were wondering.)
Okay..so I guess that was a decade ago...but still....
Almost every morning we are astonished by this young man who has
taken up residence in our home.
Because in our minds he looks like this.
But this guy keeps showing up to breakfast.....
And maybe the craziest thing is that we are not so much missing
the little version of Jack as we are excited to see who this big version
of Jack is becoming.
We are thrilled to know him....and to stare at his facial hair.
And we are quickly realizing how little time we have with him as
he gets ready to enter high school.
Is time speeding up?
It really FEELS like it is speeding up.
When I dropped him off at the airport at 5:00 am this past Sunday to board the plane
for DC, he gave me a quick hug.
I grabbed him and buried my face in shoulder and kissed his neck.
I am pretty sure I horrified him.
But he smiled anyway, slung his backpack over his shoulder and said,
Is that what parenting becomes?
Feeling hopeful and terrified and proud all at the same time?
Wondering if you have done mostly everything wrong in the last 14 years and
wanting to know if there are do overs because really you know a lot more now?
Longing for the next 4 years to stretch out before you so you can savor them
(except for when he talks back than it is okay for them to go by fast?)
Watching this boy come into his own life...his own purpose and pain and joy
and thinking, "I don't think I could love this kid any more than I do right now."
Can you feel all of these things in 12 second interlude?
I blinked back a couple of tears.
It reminded me of that moment when I dropped off Addison at preschool for
the first time.
The director looked at me with concern and said,
"He is going to be fine. It's YOU we are a little worried about."
Jack is going to be fine.
Me? That remains to be seen.
But I know this.
I am really looking forward to Friday night when Jack lands at the airport.
He should prepare himself.
I will be kissing his neck again.