Derek is growing up too fast. John and I want to give him coffee in order to stunt his growth, both physically and mentally!
He stopped kissing us at school drop-off a couple of years ago. If we don't kiss around the corner before heading on to the street the school is on, forget it. We get some kind of sideways hug and he runs off. His last year has been trying to go to school by himself. He is dying to have us just leave him at the bus stop and let him walk all the way by himself. I usually cross the street and let him go the rest of the way by himself, only because there is a crossing guard on his school's street. And I still walk far enough so I can see him go inside the building. Only just see him because he runs all the way once he leaves him.
We just started giving him an allowance and he's trying to save up to buy a Wii, but only until tempted by a bag of chips! I've also begun letting him go to the bodega by himself. I used to wait on my door stoop and watch him go and come back. Before that, I'd go with him and wait outside, because I can see in. Last weekend, I let him go all by himself while I stayed home. The bodega is 2 doors down on our side of the street and they know us very well. There are always a couple of old men sitting down on the sidewalk and they've rescued him from falling off his scooter and bike enough times to know who he is and who his parents are.
Gone is my little boy. I miss him. This kid is great and his vocabulary slays me. But I miss the little kid I had all to myself for nearly 4 years before we moved here. I think that last year we were in Trinidad was one of the best in terms of me and him. I knew I was going to have to share him soon and I lapped up as much time being with him as I could.
He's so much fun, and so funny. He can't tell a joke to save his life but he is learning about puns and he is hysterical. I really like hanging out with him and sometimes it makes me sad that the time is coming when he won't want to hang out with me.
My mother was such a big part of my world. My friends adored her and she ferried us all over the place. She hung around, but I never really felt she was cramping my style. You know, as much style as my skinny-ass self had in those days. So, no style!
But she always knew where I was, until I was about 17 or so and I got fed up of her and her craziness. She was different when my friends were around, so I encouraged them to be around a lot!
I really don't want Le Pie to think of his mummy the way I think about mine. I want him to be happy with the choices I made for him and us. He likes hearing about when it was just us in Trinidad, but he remembers very little.
He has no memory of ever seeing his birth father and it came as a huge shock to me when he told his Daddy he was angry with his birth father for not wanting him. He didn't ask me and that he asked at all made me feel like a failure. To make it worse, I've had 8+ years to prepare what I was going to say and when the time came, I was lost.
He asked when he was going through a really hard time (he's had a hard year - growing up is no fun sometimes) and it was difficult to juggle that particular conversation with what brought it on and then to discuss it in the context of everything that was troubling him.
I don't think I did as well as I could have. In hindsight, I should have discussed it with John about what we were going to say before just starting to talk. Both at home and at school it's drilled into him about making good choices and dealing with the consequences of when you don't. We tried to weave the conversation using what we've already been teaching him to understand. We tried to tell him that his birth father made his own choices and it had nothing to do with him, that he left long before Le Pie was born.
Still, it was heartbreaking. I dragged my ass on that for a long time. I really felt like I didn't do as well as I should have on it.
But, kids are resilient. He came out of all his troubles, just as bouncy as ever, and that whole mess is tabled for now.
He's not much of a talker of feelings and we've been trying to talk about that some more at home. But sometimes I feel he thinks we put too much emphasis on things he really doesn't want to deal with. But, hey, that's life, kid. And that's what parents do. They drive you insane.
But it has been one amazing experience watching him grow up. He's so cute and I still love kissing his face. I could nomnomnom those cheeks all day if he would let me. And his nosey is the cutest nosey in the world.
I find it hard to believe sometimes he is 8. He's going into 4th grade in September and that's his school's last year of elementary school. I don't know how much of this I can take. Soon there will be girls. Or boys. Requests for money for dating and liming with friends. A curfew. Snazzy clothes. Fewer conversations with his mam.
When he was smaller, I used to look forward to him growing up. Now, I wish he'd slow down a little.