Archives For Moving Up

long trip

 

When Little Dude was infant, my Ex came home to find me nursing him, and crying.

“Why are you crying?” he asked.

I wailed, “He’s going to grow up and go off to college and leeeeeave meeeeee.”

 

My ex loves this story. Yes, I was hormonal and sleep deprived. ‘Cujo the Newborn’ was nursing every 2 hours,  drawing blood off my nips. But I was on to something.

That first year, when people told me to enjoy it became it “goes fast,” I wanted to force feed them their own elbows. The hours crawled by while I wandered around in a daze, feeling like a truck had run over my life.

It was not love at first sight.

Eventually, I fell fiercely, ridiculously in love with my child in a way that I can’t quite put into words, so I’ll just stop typing about it right here.

 

Little Dude is my favorite human being in the whole world, so the majority of my Facebook statuses are about him.

I frequently post “CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE” –  snippets of his insanely smart and hilarious comments.

Smart? He charges me one dollar every time I post about him. Kid is making bank.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

LD:  Can you turn down your music? I’m trying to study for a science test.
Me:  Whose kid ARE you? Besides this is 90’s rap. You should know this!
LD:  Fine. I’ll tell my teacher I failed because my mother was reliving her “glory days.”

 

 

Little Dude had his Moving Up graduation ceremony from elementary school last week.

He’s not a little boy anymore. That phase of his life is solidly over. He’s very much a tween, practically hurtling towards being a teenager at warp speed.

The first year of his life may have crept by, but the last ten have whizzed by in a blur.

 

The inevitable baby picture montage actually eclipsed any I have seen before it its creativity. I would have appreciated it even more, had I not been weeping into balled up, mascara-stained tissues.

Despite my raunchy sense of humor and brash exterior, I’m a complete mush – especially when it comes to my kid.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

LD:  Mom, can you make me some jello?
Me:  Sure, baby.
*gets stuff out to make jello*
Me:  What would you DO without me?
LD:  Um. Read the back of the box?

 

 

During the ceremony the students were asked to stand and be acknowledged for academic excellence and participation in various extracurricular affairs.

Little Dude’s name was called, over and over again. He was a goddamn rock star.

(Yes, I’m aware that I’m bragging. I could never do this in real life. Please indulge me?)

My heart swelled to about ten times its normal size that day.

The swelling hasn’t completely gone down yet.

 

I shared the whole day with Lizzi, via the Internet. She is Little Dude’s “Auntie Lizzi” from across the pond. She is as proud of him as if he were her blood nephew.

I sent her pictures and video clips, including the one of Little Dude receiving his diploma from the principal. His firm handshake and steady eye contact with the principal displayed a confidence that I certainly didn’t have at that age.

I still don’t have it.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

LD:  Aidan and Jack got into a fist fight in the back of the bus, and got sent to the principal’s office.
Me:  And that is EXACTLY why you will never sit in the back of the bus. Nothing but trouble starts back there.
LD:  Right?  It’s like WOODSTOCK back there!

 

My kid has grown up a lot in the last year, since my Ex moved out. I have very mixed feelings about that.

Part of me wishes he didn’t have to take on so much.

He used to balk and give me attitude about all his chores. He doesn’t anymore.

And he’s changed in other ways, too. He’s grown quite protective of me. In many ways, he’s the man of the house.

It’s glorious, but at the same time it worries me. I had a lot of responsiblity when I was growing up, and I missed out on a childhood.

Is he getting enough time to be a boy?

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

Me:  We’ve seen this episode of Full House so many times I’ve memorized the dialogue.
LD:  Are you tweeting that?!
Me:  No, I’m just picking up my phone.
LD:  Good. Memorizing episodes of Full House is a victory you might want to celebrate in the privacy of our home.

 

 

He’s a safety monitor at school. He is assigned to help the little kindergarteners get to class in the morning and to the bus in the afternoon.

He likes to get in early. There’s a dad who brings his kindergarten aged boy to school every morning. They come early, because the dad has to go to work.
And he waits for Little Dude to show up every morning, so he can turn his son over to the care of a fifth grader, and leave.

My kid was never specifically assigned to do this. He just does.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

LD:  Are you…twerking??!
Me: No, I’m dancing!
LD:  You’re twerking!
Me:  I’m shaking my butt!
LD:  I can’t tell you how profoundly disturbing it is to watch my mother twerk. Just take my college education fund and save it for my therapy

 

All of the things he was acknowledged for at graduation are amazing. But what I’m most happy about is that my kid is a soulful, compassionate person with a huge heart. He cares deeply about the people around him.

And goddamn is he funny.

 

CONVERSATIONS WITH LITTLE DUDE

Me:  Check it out! I’m getting a pumpkin coffee, you’re getting a turkey sandwich, and
        ‘Linger’ by the Cranberries is playing.
        Coincidence? I think not.
LD:  Mom, I can assure you WaWa did not organize a ‘Thanksgiving Trifecta.’
Me:  MUST you talk like that? You’re going to be the ‘weird kid’ at school, you know that, right?
LD:  Don’t worry, I dumb it down for school.
Me:  You DUMB IT DOWN for school? That’s priceless. Hahahahahaha

 

Graduations can be seen as a coming of age. It’s a way to recognize when a person steps into the next stage of life.

My son is stepping into a new stage and I’m excited for him.

But I also want to tell him, “Slow down, baby boy. I don’t want to miss a thing.”

 

Did your kid graduate from school recently?  Did you get emotional at their graduation?
Does time seem to be moving very fast? 
Talk to me.  I’m listening.