Jackson is four – oh pardon me – four and a half, (as he would quickly correct me if he heard me call him four,) and teetering between an attached preschooler and an independent little boy.
At one moment he clings to me, begging for more mommy time and then at another he whispers to me under his breath “Mom, go away,” like a grade-schooler embarrassed by the presence of their mom and pleading for freedom.
And while I hold on to each snuggly moment, trying to memorize each second, the glimpses of my grown up boy are almost as adorable.
Two days ago, as we got ready in the morning to head over to Susan’s house, (Susan lives two blocks away and we share looking after our kids so one of us can work, or sleep if we have been working till the wee hours, which was the case this particular morning,) Jackson announced in his I-am-all-grown-up voice, “How about I walk myself there and you go have your sleep.”
I clamped my mouth shut, choking back laughter – it was so cute and funny. Not only did he sound so grown up, but that little guy had got me figured out! I hadn’t even mentioned to him that I was going to take a nap after I dropped him off.
I smiled and we worked out a compromise. I would drop him off a few units down from Susan’s (she lives in a townhouse complex) and watch him as he walked there by himself. With his little backpack on his back, he dashed off on his way, not even turning to wave good bye. It was just so cute and a little bittersweet as I had peek at the future, him heading off to school, no longer my little baby.
The next day I didn’t have the chance to indulge in a nap and Jackson and I were heading over together to look after Julia while Susan worked. But to my complete surprise my sweet, mommy-loving son had a complete meltdown that I was coming with him!
Apparently he wanted to go on his own and not have me follow him. I told him that he could walk himself and that I would just come in after. No – that wasn’t going to do it – he had a full scale meltdown, complete with shrieking and tears. Well, what can a mom do? Not much. Bring him inside and put him on a time out till he was ready to calm down and stop scaring his cousin half to death with his screaming.
Eventually he came down stairs armed with a compromise. Later, when it was my turn to work, could I please take him home and then drive him back and drop him off and not come in? I agreed, but of course by the afternoon he had forgotten and I certainly wasn’t going to remind him.
So today, it was drop-off day again. I stopped the car three units down, helped load him up with his backpack, his bag of light sabers and a bowl of blueberries and sent him on his way. But this time he stopped half way, turned and said, “I miss you Mommy.”
Heart melts. Maybe he isn’t that grown up after all.