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The last few days have offered up a glimpse of spring. I can see buds on a smattering of trees, a few early-bird jonquils have bloomed, and the last two days have been warm. This is different than saying spring has arrived, though, because the forecast is for cold weather later in the week, most of the trees are still bare, and the closed jonquil buds lining my sidewalk remind me that true spring is still weeks away.

In a similar vein, the last few days have offered up plenty of glimpses of Simon as a boy and some careful reminders that he remains—for a few months yet—a toddler.

He’s getting much better, for example, about brushing his teeth at night, eagerly asking for his toothbrush and giving it the old pre-school try. That seems big-boyish to me. But then I have to do the real work, his toothpaste contains no fluoride because he eats it, and his favorite toothbrush has a giant Tigger handle. That’s a clear indication of toddlerhood.

His verbal skills continue to advance at a rapid clip, and sometimes he says something in a tone I can only call teenaged.

“Simon, do you want to go to a park?” I ask brightly.

“Uh-kay” he replies, with a practiced nonchalance.

Then he asks me to carry him down the front steps and I am reminded that the teenage years are over a decade away.

At home Simon eats in a high chair pulled up to the kitchen island or in a booster seat at the dining-room table. When we are out, however, he has begun to resist the booster seat and the high chair in favor of sitting down like all the adults—there’s that glimpse again— only to inevitably spill or drop things when he can’t easily reach the table—and here comes the reminder.

Two nights ago, my girl-crazed son preened and showed off as best he could for the daughter of friends, who is five months older than he is. We were at a restaurant, and he stood up on his seat to be “tall”, leaned back against the booth in a studied pose that recalled¬† James Dean, and pulled out every trick in his arsenal of charm to get little Leah’s attention. I thought I caught a glimpse. By the end of the night they were playing Ring-around-the-Rosie beside the table, and Simon was squealing with joy. Thus came the reminder.

And the piece de resistance of glimpses? Simon’s teachers sent him home today with two pictures of him “dancing” with his classmate Rachel. Their arms are wrapped around each other in one picture, Simon’s low and Rachel’s high across each other’s backs, and in the other they have arms wrapped around each other on one side and arms outstretched with hands clasped on the other. It looks for all the world like they are ready to take off in a fox-trot, and the teacher even captioned it “Shall we dance?”

It was a short leap from this picture to envisioning Simon at cotillion in sixth grade. Except I don’t think they have cotillion any more, and by then Rachel would likely be taller.

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