Sunday, May 11, 2008

My Man-Child I'm standing in the living room the other day, Adam walks up and states, unbeknown to me, the obvious, "What's up, Shorty!" As I turn to look at him, my eyes naturally focus on where his eyes are usually located - eye level with me. That's when I realize that my eyes are now focused on his nose and my eyes need to travel ever so slightly upward to look into his. His eyes are smiling at the fact that he is taller than Mom. What the hell just happened? When did he get taller? Granted, I am somewhere between 5'1" and 5'2", so being taller than me isn't a huge feat. But Adam is my baby, not this "man-child" staring at me.

The signs have been there. I just chose not to acknowledge them. A year ago in January was my first realization that Adam was growing up. The poor kid had one of the worst flus I had ever seen. He spent 4 days with his head hanging into a bowl, garbage can, or toilet. Anytime he ate anything, he threw up. During one of his many trips to the bathroom, as he kneeled in front of the toilet, I witnessed the biggest feet I had ever seen. I should have been next to him holding his head, soothing him as he got sick for the umpteenth million time, yet I stood in the doorway mesmerized by his feet. It was amazing how big they had become. It was as if someone put clown feet on my then 11 year old.

Then there was his 6" growth spurt from June to December. His request for size 10 Pumas this Christmas. His deepening voice. I no longer have to play a guessing game when calling home to determine which child I am talking to. Neither one liked the fact that I didn't recognize their voice, but for the past 12 years they sounded exactly alike. Conversations began with, "Hi, Baby! Watcha doin'?" Generally, from their answer I knew who I was talking to. Occasionally, if their response was noncommittal, a little investigative questioning was required. For a while when Adam would call me he would start out with, "Hi Mommy. This is Adam." just to clarify who was on the phone. Now, there is no question. Adam's voice, when not squeaking, is deep.

Up until last year there was a voice mail message from Adam saved on my cell phone. It was a message he left when he was 5 or 6. In a very sing-song voice it said, "Hi Mommy! This is Adam. I love you! See you at 6:00". Verizon promised me the message would not be lost when I requested a new cell number. They were wrong. Although very apologetic, that precious message was lost. I was crushed yet I can still hear that sweet voice in my head. Just as I can hear his voice when he woke me daily as a pre-schooler, "Wake up, Mommy! It's a bright and shiney day outside!" Although I always wanted to pull the covers over my head at 5AM, how could that sweet sentiment not make you wake up and hug the little guy?

He has always loved coffee, but it was generally a splash of coffee with a ton of French Vanilla creamer and milk. Last month his mug contained much more coffee than creamer. Two weeks ago he announced we didn't have any mugs that were manly. All of our mugs were girly with flowers, or "Mom" or "Gramma" written on them. There weren't any "man mugs" around. He finally found a brown Bloomingdales mug. That is his mug of choice. His "man mug." While out shopping for a Mother's Day gift, I found some forest green mugs for him to use as well...just in case his "man mug" is dirty.

I knew this day was arriving, but it was always at a distance. Now...his maturity is staring me in the face...or, actually, over my head. He starts middle school next year and has requested more responsibility around the house. Where did my little guy go? In a blink he's no longer my baby. I'm a little sad. Yet, very proud of my son and extremely curious as to what Adam will do with his life.

Regardless, Kat still reminds him that no matter how tall he gets, or how old he is, she will always whip his butt.