Thursday, September 01, 2016

Once I was seven years old...

Dear Jordan,

Two weeks ago, you turned seven. The night before you said, "I just realized...I'm never going to be six again."

No, my sweet, you'll never be six again. My mama always told me not to be in a hurry to grow up. Like you, I always wanted to be older. To be a big kid. To be a teenager. To be a grownup.

And you, at seven you are suddenly so grown up.

For your birthday you didn't want a big party; you wanted only family. You wanted chocolate cake with Lego candy on top. Truthfully, you're rather indifferent to cake. You are mostly about the Lego candy.

You are an interesting human being. You're articulate, thoughtful, and kind.

You love to play Lego, and you have spectacular building sense and imagination. I love seeing your creations. Most things become weapons, or have some deadly component to them. But they're still very compelling.

This summer, you started reading of your own volition. You discovered Calvin & Hobbes, and you fell in love. The other day you were home sick, and you curled up in bed and read it to Nana for ages.
I have always preferred reading to almost anything else, and I am so excited that you like to read. You don't choose it over Lego, but you like books more and more. I'm dying for you to read some of my childhood favorites. It feels like I'm going to get to introduce you to old friends.

I put my old Tin Tin comics in your room, and you're kind of interested, but they're still a little dense for you. Plus they're falling apart. Partly it's age, and partly it's the fact that my fish tank in Bangladesh leaked on many of them.

I don't push you on reading material, though, because that's annoying. Truly, I want you to love books, whatever you choose.

Sometimes you read to your sister, and it melts my heart. She's often large and in charge, but she'll ask you to read to her, and it is the picture of sweetness.

You read Knock Knock jokes in the car. Boy howdy do you love a Knock Knock joke. The other day I was driving somewhere I didn't know and I said I had to pay attention to the GPS and India offered to take over the "Who's there?" part and I don't know if I've ever been so grateful in my life.

(On a side bar: I have taught ESL and I still struggle with who's and whose. I will never not have to think about it, I fear. Also, and related, I now know I quite loathe Knock Knock jokes.)

Every time we go to the pool you and India insist on standing on the scale. We talk about your weight. We talk about hers. We talk about your weights combined. You weigh 65 pounds, and you are so proud of this. Together you weigh over 100 pounds!

I can still lift you and carry you, but not as far as I used to, and only because I am strong. I tell you and your sister that I'm strong. That you're strong and that she's strong. I make sure to do this, and I say strength is important.

I don't say skinny is important, because that's not a message from my childhood that I want to give you. Strong is beautiful, and strong is important.

You love to demonstrate your strength. You pick your sister up regularly. The other day at the pool you figured out a way to lift her in the water. She hopped on your arm and then you slung her over your head.

You bellowed, "Hey, Mama! Mama, watch how I pick India up by her vagina and flip her over my head!"

I could see by the faces of strangers that they had, in fact, heard your pronouncement.

You flipped her into water. She came up laughing.

I said, very calmly, because I couldn't think of what else to do, "Well, we don't really pick anyone up by their vagina, do we?"

To which India yelled something like, "Jordan! Throw me in the water by my vagina again!"

This story is going to make you want to die when you're a teenager. It just is. And yet, it is too good not to record.

We still hold hands when we walk, and I love it.

I take your hand, and now when we hold hands, yours are almost as big as mine. You love this. You don't quite fit my flip flops, but enough to wear them. You think it's funny. I think, oh, so soon he'll be taller than me. Soon his hands will be bigger. Soon he'll outgrow my shoes.

Do we ever outgrow our mamas? I certainly hope not.

I love you love you love you.

Mama

1 comment:

  1. This brought tears of love to my eyes. Please do kiss Jordan for me and give him my best wishes. My daughter will be three soon and I'm terrified that I'll forget her toddler face. I dont want to instill this fear of growing up in her but I do consciously remind myself of her as a baby and keep a mental record of her lost cute antics. And that vagina joke is a definite killer!

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