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.