Wednesday, August 6, 2008


When did my little boy grow up so much?

"No! I!" That's Jesse's new favorite statement. The "I" part comes out more like "Iiiiiiiiiiiya!" with a bit of a whine behind it.

Try holding his hand, opening the gate, helping him with his shoes, getting him into his car seat, pouring him a cup of milk... "NO, Mama! I!!!"

We took the boys to Kennywood last week with my family. Jesse took off quite a few times, motorcycling (he puts his hands out like he's a motorcycle, makes the noise with his mouth, and "drives" around, weaving back and forth, going in circles, popping the occasional wheely) around. I asked him countless times to stay with me, hold my hand, stick close. Nope. He wanted to be free. "I wan run!" One time I let him go and followed him from 15 feet behind, craning my neck to watch him through the crowd. He ran off, motorcycling about - with people grinning or chuckling at the little red head with glasses acting like a dirt bike - for almost 20 minutes. He went a few hundred yards. Never stopped. Never looked back. Never got scared or cried for mama.

I watch him with a sense of pride mixed with sadness. He's so grown up. He's so confident and fearless. I should be so proud. And I am. But at times I long for that dependent boy who needed his mama for everything. His independence will only grow from here. Someday - far, far off, I hope! - he will be on his own and completely dependent of me. Millions of parents have reached that point before I will.

I wonder if the pride overcomes the sadness?

I bet it does.

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