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All signs point to Simon not being a little boy any more. I think he’s just a boy without qualification, and “young man” is within sights. How can I tell? Let me count the ways:

  1. He’s starting to make his own food.
  2. He’s showering with no assistance at all.
  3. He’s doing things like homework without being told.
  4. He’s sneaking candy and treats and is smart enough to hide the evidence.

Those are mostly small things that many children began doing years ago. Then there are the biggies:

  1. Two weeks ago Simon asked me if he could start walking to the bus stop and waiting for the bus alone. I should let him, but the fact that our street doesn’t have sidewalks makes me very nervous. I admire the desire, but he might have to wait a while longer.
  2. Last weekend, in a soccer tournament, Simon was in goal when a player on the opposing team slid into him. Simon ended up with that boy’s cleat firmly planted in his neck. It hurt, and he had to leave the field. I stayed on the parents’ sideline, convinced that if the coaches needed me, they’d wave me over. I was slightly afraid my presence might make him feel worse. Afterwards, when we discussed the incident, Simon had this to say: “I wanted to get back in the game so I could smash that kid in the face with the ball.” He meant it, too!
  3. After discussing the incident, I took a look at Simon’s neck looking for lingering redness or cleat marks. I didn’t see any, but Simon told me the area was still tender. So I kissed it. That puzzled Simon, and he told me as much. “Here’s a funny thing about parents that I’ve noticed. When their boy or girl hurts themselves, they always want to kiss the part that hurts. What good is that supposed to do?” Mother’s magic touch is gone, I tell you.
  4. While Simon is still super sensitive to loud noises, he doesn’t sit back and cry about them any more. Last week, when his class was being awful in the cafeteria, he stood up and tried to take control. He failed miserably, but I admire the effort and take it as one more sign of his growing maturity.

It’ll be interesting to see how fast this maturation project gains steam. Right now, we’re clearly revving up. And I have to say, I’m not experiencing any wistfulness about his growing independence. Instead—at this point anyway—I’m thrilled by the peak at the person he is becoming. It’s better than any movie trailer I could imagine!

One Response to “Signs”

  1. goldsteinrita says:

    You might suggest that since the end of this school year is fast approaching, next year will be a good starting time for lone walks to the school bus stop.

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