They were way too big. My mom's heels. But she slipped on an extra pair of socks and jammed her chubby toes into the wedge heels anyway. She shuffled across the linoleum, relishing in the clackity-clack sound. She sounded like a grown up. The sticky cheeks betrayed her. My little sister was barely out of toddler-hood when she realized the distinct advantages of adulthood. Height.
I'm certain my dad suffered from a rather intense form of OCD. He could walk into any room and spot a tiny piece of lint, a crumb or a hair. With laser-like focus, he would home in on the offending piece of debris and dispose of it. We were all amazed. My brother most of all. When my dad pulled out the vacuum, my brother would follow close behind with the popcorn push toy. He wanted to be a big man, like his daddy. Push. Pop. Push.
I remember my mom grabbing at the backpack I had slung over my shoulder. "What do you need this for?" she demanded. I was going skating, as in roller skating. My big-banged, electric blue-mascaraed, off-the-shoulder sweater secured at her waist with a pleather belt with a buckle as-big as-your-face wearin' friend was going with me. "It's just stuff, mom," I replied with the I'm-too-cool-for-this requisite teenage eye-roll. In a matter of mere seconds she pulled from the bag a mini-skirt (not mine), an off-the-shoulder-t-shirt (oddly, my mom's) and a mix-matched collection of Bonnie Bell. Busted. I was desperate to add a decade to my 14 years. I wanted someone to peel me away from the wall during the couples skate when some sappy Richard Marx song was sure to be playing. Now I didn't have a chance.
High heels. A "vacuum." Cheap make-up and a top made "for a hussy" (my mom's words). Desperate attempts to grab a piece of adulthood.
I never though I'd see the signs of such a pursuit in my plucky little 17-month-old . . . let's just take a look at the last few days, shall we?
He wants to be able to hang out in empty rooms by himself, just like a big boy. Closing the door is a sure sign of "I need my privacy." In only a few seconds, this poked out. Clearly, he misses me.
He's had enough of Velcro sneakers covered in Sesame Street characters. Or, he's just trying to show off his shoe-tying skills. With his mouth. Impressive.
Daddy left his CAFFEINATED DIET pop/cola/soda on the floor. J decided to help himself. I have no idea how much he sucked down . . . I just know it was a longer night than usual.
J decided that mama blowing his nose just, well, blew. So, he decided to practice. With an entire box of tissue. I knew he was being entirely too quiet (I mean, how much noise does tissue make?!?!).
J is all about making his own nutritional choices. There are at least a dozen or more on the floor (mixed with the crusty cheese bits, veggie "chicken" patty crumbs and who the heck knows what).
J is rather distressed over not being able to beat daddy's high score in electronic Yahtzee. And he wants the world to know . . .
Little man, this is your mommy. Stop it. Stop it right now. I know you want to grow up. I get it. I was once there myself. But for now, don't worry about bills, winning or losing, fat/calories, zits, impressing anyone, getting a job, doing homework, cleaning your room, finding a college, settling on a career, minding your manners (for now, even shoving your finger in your nose is still kinda cute. For now.), finding "the one," losing "the one," nose and back hair, bald spots . . . just don't worry. Not now. You have your entire life for all that nonsense.
Until then . . . take advantage of having someone else bathe, feed and dress you (you might not experience this again for about 80 years or so, and it won't be as fun). Let daddy hoist you on his shoulders and spin you around while he sings the greatest hits from the Bee Gees. Play hide 'n seek and giggle until your chubby belly hurts (or until your breakfast spills out onto the carpet). Let your mommy grab you and hug and kiss you until you can barely take it. Let us tuck you in at night, read you stories and tell you about all the amazing things you can do, will do, if you want. Let us carry the burden of worry, of fear. We will come in, rub your back, feel your soft breaths and bend down to whisper our love for you.
For now, little man . . .
Just live. Just play. Just be happy.
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