Tomorrow my son turns 1o. His life feels like it has blurred past me in a mad rush. I can barely remember when he was Tara’s age. What he was like at 2.5. Instead before me I have this tall handsome boy, who despite his cool demeanour really still needs his mom. Thank goodness he still needs his mom. I need my boy.
We celebrated with as much style and energy as we could muster and I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief when people actually SHOWED up this year and he did not succumb to a migraine and miss his birthday like he did last year. This year was loud and crazy. The party has just now wrapped up with the last of the stragglers from the 5 boy strong sleepover FINALLY left. He basically had a two day celebration and his actual birthday is tomorrow.
Yesterday it was all about water fights.
His friends did him good. He is a lucky kid. They are all nice fun kids who were no problem at all for refereeing and keeping happy and occupied. It was just amazingly loud. Adam asked FIVE boys to sleepover. They were up playing video games and watching movies until about 3:30 in the am. The rest of us humans and animals retreated to our room to hide from the mayhem. Apparently there was pranks that it is better that parents don’t know about.
Which led to today.
The boy is ten now. The majority of his friends are ten and older. The urge to spread wings grows strong. He chafes for more independence, more time away from prying parental eyes. This is tough…even for a more free range leaning parent like myself. He and his buddies ventured down to the nature park to ‘fish.’ I took the dogs down and met them there, fully into their explorations and adventures. I was not impressed that he had brought he newly acquired long board. A VERY expensive birthday gift that I had visions of being lifted by some wandering teens as he was busy hunting for frogs. I continued on my way with the dogs with the board tucked under my arm and told the boys to head back home as quickly as they could.
This wasn’t easy as Caity wanted to tag along and Adam was not into that. Made much threats about ignoring her and so on. We parted company with me feeling much trepidation.
When we returned I found that they had not. Also, the parents of his two companions were calling wondering when to pick up their offspring. Patrick had not been inclined to say that he had no freaking clue as to where the children were.
Mom and I headed down the trails calling in vain to see if they were on their way back. We finally did find them, dirty and limping. I was a tad too angry to notice this and told them to all march home and call their parents to get picked up. Then I heard their adventure.
I am not too clear on it, but it seems to have involved boys shoving boys and boys falling down steep hills to the creek below and everyone ending up down there and then having a hell of a time getting back up. There was tears and scratches and gashed knees…but all felt quite victorious after they got themselves out of the predicament and staggered to the corner store for celebratory freezies, where we found them walking back from.
So, the whole GOOD parent in me was freaking about them being out of contact and the horror of not quite knowing where they were. The other part of me, the part that remembered being ten suppressed a smile and decided to not be too rough on them. I cleaned their scratches and let them regale me with their heroic tales of pulling up Caity from this great chasm.
We didn’t share too much of the days adventure with their dad. Their dad is awesome, but tends to lean more towards the concerned parent and I know how exasperated he gets with my seeming lack of concern over their exploits. I am not unconcerned for their safety. I just remember that those little adventures that were NOT seen by parents were really amazing moments in my childhood. Little moments when you weren’t just kids….but people on a great adventure together…a team. They were all so proud of themselves, despite the fact that being totally stupid was what led them to that adventure in the first place.
I had said it before, and will say it again. To all those out there starting out on their parenting journey. The sleepless baby nights are the easiest. Parenting a child who is learning all about themselves and their world is tough. Every day is a challenge. Every single day there is a new demand, challenge, argument that needs dealt with as their world grows ever larger.
It was a good weekend. I learned a lot.