In a couple of days, my son turns seven.
Seven years and a little less than nine months will have passed since the day I turned green from smelling the gas I was putting in my car at the Magazine Spur station and decided to get a pregnancy test.
More years than that have passed since the day I was having lunch at Juan's with my not-yet-fiance-or-husband and telling him I was never going to have kids. Never say never.
This child of mine has grown like a weed. He's still a big sweetie, but he's also quite confident in himself, almost to the point where I fear for his willingness to open his mouth and share his opinions and facts about the world at any time and any place - and almost to what seems like an arrogant fault. His French teacher told me yesterday of how he was demonstrating his knowledge of the TGV, France's high-speed train, to her and how he punctuated it with, "Know how I know that? From my Big Book of Transportation!" (She laughed at the thought of such a book, and laughed even harder when I told her, "No, it's true, he does have that book!") A visit from Mrs Jindal to his school to demonstrate the new Promethean Board they acquired as a teaching tool showed that his outspokenness can pay off though, as he gave her the correct answer to one of her questions in a demo of what the board can do (Dan and my fellow coffee shop patron had the same question: "Did she know the answer?" Uh, yeah, guys.).
He loves the cars, trucks and airplanes, he was adamant that his birthday party invitations have an Airbus A380 on them and that he have a few games for his partygoers, and he's now getting into the Legos big time. The kid knows what he likes and dislikes and has no problems telling you. Turns out he gets easily freaked by some scary stuff in kids' movies (case in point: I had to take him out of Ice Age 3 after the carnivorous plant moment, which I thought was hilarious, a true homage to Die Hard With A Vengeance), but he loves Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. What'cha think, people, should I get him an Indiana Jones set or what?
He's also still got some love for the ladies: he tried writing a nice note on what his prospects were to a little girl in his after care (he wants to be a pilot for Delta when he grows up, according to the note). Watch out for the charmer, girls. I mean...really...watch out.
But overall, he's still a young 'un with all the accompanying growing pains that tend to be wearing on me a bit more than they are wearing on him. Or so I think, until he asks me why there are wars, or why there are kids who aren't as outgoing and friendly as he is that he tries to welcome into his orbit, or when he's going to be a big enough guy to do the things he wants to do - the stuff that sends his heart afire like being a semi-driving airline pilot, or getting married and having a job (yes, it's true, he thinks about that a lot), or seeing the animals he reads about regularly in the wild, or even owning a rat, a mouse, a ferret, or a turtle as a pet of his own.
He'll worry about things like, this morning, when I was going to get the brake tag renewed on our now-fixed car. He reminds me each religious school Sunday to pass him the money for his class' tzedakah (charity) collection in the morning. His capacity to worry about all kinds of things can worry me sometimes....but then he voices something that's more self-centered, like oh, what will happen to him in a certain situation?, or when can he watch a certain movie?, or can't I please pull out the birthday present his grandma and grandpa bought for him a little early?, and I am secretly relieved that I haven't been raising a complete saint, until the selfish goes too far and I have to rein him in. Basic kid behavior.
My son is an ongoing work in progress, as am I as his mother. We are proof positive that certain tasks are ongoing, that shaping one's life is never ending and having a hand in that process is an art in when to be a good parent and intervene and when to be a good parent and let it go. We are all still learning. But we're doing it together, planning for what we can but taking all the rest as it comes. No instruction books. Hell, we don't even have a TV with a converter box, forget cable or satellite.
Yet here we are, a couple of sillies.
I love that little character of mine. Happy birthday, little guy.