Tonight, M insisted on a hard-boiled egg for dessert. He was given the choice of fruit or cereal with almond milk. He chose a hard-boiled egg. Not only did he choose an egg, but he also insisted he peel the egg himself. I pictured this before I acquiesced: huge chunks of egg going to waste along with the shell, pieces of shell everywhere, early evening chaos. But what transpired instead was a bit of a monumental moment. My son peeled an egg. My 2 1/2-year old peeled an entire egg by himself. He got all the pieces of shell in the sink and rinsed the egg off before eating it. Then it hit me (like it does from time to time). There will come a time when he leaves us and peels all his own eggs. I watched him working tonight and thought about the adult he will grow into. I thought about how his hands will be bigger than mine and how he will probably have to bend down to give me a hug (his donor was like, 6’2″). I pictured him standing at his own sink teaching his son how to peel an egg.
Time is passing rather quickly. The milestones are coming daily. I read an article on the Brain, Child website today: http://www.brainchildmag.com/2013/07/disappearing-act/. The first line, “The cruelest truth of parenting: If you do it right, they leave.” That hit me in my gut. I had to close my computer for a while before I could finish the essay.
I guess that is a harsh reality that I need another 16+ years to prepare for. I will need to experience the angst of teenagers in order to appreciate the quiet when he is gone. I will need him to stay out past curfew or tell me he hates me or whatever else it is we did as teenagers that made our parents a little less morose when we left home. I know I will miss the smell of his skin. That is for sure.
When he was a tiny baby, we would put shirts we had worn in his crib so that he could smell us while he slept. I think I will have to sneak one of his out of his stuff before he drives away and tuck it neatly under my pillow.