Growing Up Is Hard To Do

The concept of “growing up” is not one that is easily understood. On the one hand, little kids will discuss how they are big and that they are not babies. On the other hand, they don’t actually have any idea what it means.

Alex knows he isn’t a baby. He understands that he’s 3, and that before that he was 2, and that one of these days (though to him every future event is “the next day”) he will be 4. And then 5, 6, 7. He gets that. He knows that he is taller than he once was, and will continue to get even taller.

“One day I’ll be a super big boy and I’ll be able to touch all the ceilings!”

I tell him that one day he will certainly be able to touch some ceilings, and that he will without a doubt be taller than me. “Taller than you? Dat’s widiculous, Mommy!”

Ridiculous, but true. One day he’ll likely be towering over me, similar to his father and grandfather. One day, he’ll be wider than me. His shoulders and arms will consume me when he gives me a hug. One day, he will be a Big Boy.

For now, though, I take a little comfort in the fact that he doesn’t always want to grow up. Telling him that Big Boys sleep in their own beds just makes him insist that he is “actually a wittle boy!” And he is still a little boy. He’s a little boy who is often shy but almost always friendly. A little boy that is highly emotional. A little boy who picks up on everything and succeeds in finding the most hilarious ways imaginable to then use it. And he’s a little boy who is scared of sleeping by himself. I can’t blame him, as much as I would like to, because when you’re that small? The world, bedrooms included, is huge.

One day, he’ll sleep in his own bed. One day, he’ll understand what the word “patient” means and will no longer use it in hilarious ways. One day he will be able to look at the top of my head. But until then, he can go on being confused about what it really means to grow up.

“On day, I’ll be so super big. I’ll touch the sky! And jump over the biggest puddles! I’ll be so big and I’ll gwow and gwow and gwow and be even bigger! And den I’ll turn into a squirrel and climb the tallest trees!”

Sure, kid. When you grow up, you can be anything you want. Even a squirrel.

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3 thoughts on “Growing Up Is Hard To Do

  1. I think it’s going to be fine that he still wants to sleep with you. I made a big mistake when my oldest daughter was only two and she wanted to sleep with us. I didn’t let her because I didn’t think her dad would like it. At the time we were having marital troubles. I wish I had let her, I was almost nine months pregnant with her brother. I will always regret that I didn’t so you don’t worry about it at all. My grandbaby has slept with her parents since she was born until recently they managed to lay her in her crib and she was all right with it. She even would get up and turn her own musical toy on herself. But whenever she cries in the middle of the night they will go get her and let her sleep with them. Becky says she’s been doing so good.

  2. I watch each of my children struggle with this, the 3 year old wants to be able to do all the things the 8 yr old can do but doesn’t want any of the responsibilities. The 8 yr old still wants to be coddled like she is a baby but wants to do things herself…the 12 yr old wants to be 30 but gets frustrated when she fails or forgets something and then tells us that it was our job to remind her.

  3. Growing up seems so far away. I remember being ridiculously excited when I turned five- a whole hand. This made me sad, but in a good way.

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