Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Only Yesterday

Twelve twelve two thousand twelve. The eighteenth birthday of my #1 son. A milestone.

It seems like only yesterday that he was getting kicked out of daycare near his fourth birthday, on the day before their Thanksgiving dinner, for telling his daycare teacher, "You are not the boss of me!" The stomp on her foot might have been a mitigating factor, though she explained that it was because she could not take care of him if he would not obey the time-outs. Poor little guy. Wailed, "I want my pumpkin piiiiiiiiiiiiie!" all the way home. And when she said she would give him one more try after a week of banishment, #1, always of the glass half full, said cheerfully, "I bet she saved me some pumpkin pie in the freezer."

That might have been my fault, the no-boss issue. As the Parents as Teachers worker used to tell me, "He responds like an adult. So I have a feeling you must talk to him like an adult, not a kid." True. I did not baby-talk him. But in no way did I treat him like he was an equal. Which he seemed to consider himself.

Yes, it seems like only yesterday I was telling the three-year-old #1, he of the argumentative speech, "You are going to be a lawyer when you grow up." And #1 replying, "I am NOT a LAWYER! YOU are the LAWYER!" Because even a three-year-old little genius sometimes missed the nuance between lawyer, and liar.

Only yesterday, he was a kindergartener being diagnosed as gifted. Fretting because he did not do well on that verbal test. Only to find out that he missed exactly two questions. The first being Where does the sun set? With his reply, "It sits in the sky." And the second What is bread made of? With his answer, "Dough and water."

Only yesterday, he was a kindergartener asking to wear a vest and tie for his school pictures. A third-grader jumping out of bed exclaiming, "This is the day I have waited for my whole life! The day I get to take the MAP test!" A third-grader fixing his gifted classroom's computer. A fourth-grader driving a stick-shift Toyota. An eighth grader being named middle school student of the year. A ninth-grader splitting his head open at basketball practice. A tenth-grader with a neckful of clanging medals from academic tournaments and WYSE competitions, taking the school's first robot team to a state competition. An eleventh-grader going off to Missouri Boys State.

Soon it will be tomorrow, and he'll be a twelfth-grader graduating valedictorian.

It's going to be hard to let him go.

4 comments:

Sioux said...

We mothers seem to really cherish our sons and try to hold onto them longer than we do our daughters. That could be because we spend so many of our daughters' teenage years shrieking at each other.

The Genius sounds just like me every spring. "Yippee! The MAP test!" I get all tingly and wet thinking about it even now...

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
We try to hold onto them because we know that saying it true: A son is a son 'til he takes him a wife; a daughter's a daughter the rest of her life.

I have not yet delved into my new Chicken Soup book on mothers and daughters. I don't have a daughter...but I have a mother.

After teaching middle school for may years, I swore I wanted only boys. Those little grudge-holders are not for me. Boys are so simple. Like dogs. Girls are more complicated. Like cats.

Sioux said...

I have always said that. Men are plodding creatures. You kick them in the teeth one day, the next day, they're still wagging their tail at the sight of you.

Women, on the other hand, ARE cats. If you're mean to a cat, it will scratch up your couch until it's shreds. It'll pee on your favorite dress that's in the laundry basket. It will lie in wait--for years--holding a grudge, patiently waiting for a chance at revenge.

Hillbilly Mom said...

Sioux,
You forgot the part about how white cats love to roll around on your black blazer with the clack lace lapels until it looks like it's made of mohair.

And how men would eat Beggin' Strips if you left them alone with a bag.