He sat across from me at the end of his first day of 4th grade. We were escaping the oppressive, icky-sticky afternoon heat and enjoying “woohoo! back-to-school” treats at our favorite Starbucks which sits, conveniently, next to our favorite library.
He reached his hand out, mindlessly seeking mine. He’s that kind of kid – he wants and seeks connection. Affectionate and still loving cuddles with his mamas, our boy is completely at ease giving and getting love. Thank the gods! I’m not one who knows how to restrain myself when I want a kiss or a cuddle. Not a day passes in our house that I don’t sweep our boy up and get some loves in. Granted, he’s getting bigger and heavier and stronger so it’s a bit more difficult to catch him by surprise or to fully gather him into my arms. But that doesn’t stop me from trying.
We sat there, catching up about the day – what went down, which friends were in his class, the appropriateness of talking story with your friends while in class on the first day of school (or not!) – all of that info that the Mamas want to know . While we talked, I was working through the first-day-of-school homework packets that parents have to wade through every year – the forms for emergency contacts and lunch accounts, permission slips for internet use and program participation. One by one, I read the forms, piled up the ones that needed information and signatures, put aside the ones that would go into the 4th grade year file and kept one ear tuned to the adventures of our boy’s days.
“I’m glad I don’t have to do parent homework yet.”
My pen stopped mid-signature.
“Well, yeah. When I become a dad, I’m going to have to do that stuff too, I guess.”
My ears perked and my attention zeroed in on the sweaty little man sitting across from me, his whiskey eyes looking at me under the sweep of his generous eyelashes.
“Do you want to become a dad one of these days?”
“Mama! Of course! You want grandbabies – you’ve said that before.”
“I think you’d be an awesome daddy, and yes – I totally want grandbabies but you should have babies if you want babies. You get that, right?”
“Oh, I want babies. I’m going to be a dad.”
“That’s awesome, baby … just not yet, okay? Like, wait until your married – or have a job.”
“Till I’m a grown up? Of course, Mama!”
And on we went, our conversation veered off toward the use of computers in his homework this year, whether or not being a JPO is something he’d be interested in and how mini vanilla bean frappuccinos are the most awesome after school treats ever created. Especially when whipped cream is involved.
We cleaned up our table, stashed away all the parent homework forms and his journal, tucked our chairs in and, as I searched through my purse for my sunglasses, our 9-year-old little man graciously held the door open, patiently waiting for his mama to trail after him. After he settled himself in the car and asked to continue listening to our current audiobook adventure, he squeezed between the seats, reached over to give me a big smooch on my cheeks and whispered, “I love you, Mama.”
Oh, my love, you are going to make an amazing daddy some day. But you will always be my sweet baby.