It was a little after 6 when my shift ended and I turned off the computer and emerged from my office into the family room. Thing2 was hanging out with the Big Guy on the couch while Thing1 listened to music on his iPod. Without thinking, I launched into my litany of reminders.
“Is your homework done?” I asked both boys.
“Firewood in?” I asked Thing1, getting ready to remind him that if he wanted to earn money for this necessary chore he had to be completely responsible for the bin staying full.
“Did you take Katy out?”
“Yes, Mom,” He didn’t bother to look up from his iPod at the last query, knowing he had stopped me in my tracks. He had but not for the reason he thought.
As I stirred the leftover stew on the wood stove, it hit me that my once slightly serious but still impish boy is evolving into a responsible young man. And, while I want to keep the real world from denting that bliss that exists in all of us when we’re ignorant of the world, I am also realizing that I may need to find a new nick name for my first born.
It’s been sightly less than a year since I introduced my kids to this blog with their nicknames – Thing1 and Thing2. At the time, I was searching for stories close to home, and my 12 and 6 year old’s antics provided much of my fodder as well as their blog names (I didn’t want to use their real names on a blog). Thing2 is still very much an imp, but he has acquired a second nickname over the year – SuperDude – as the joyful theatrics that characterize his age became more colorful and creative. Little impishness is obvious in Thing1 anymore, however, as he gets closer to the edge of his childhood.
He’ll be thirteen in August, and he’s been towering over me since before his last birthday, but the changes in him over the last year are more than just physical. Thing1 went through his joyful, leaping stage when he was six, and, when he’s hanging out with his brother, he is reminded that the joy and leaping still lurk beneath the surface. But Thing1 has always been a more deliberative child, and he seems to be continuing on that path, accepting new responsibilities with little complaint. In short, he’s a good egg.
We’re seeing some of the expected displays of independence and boundary testing, but, remembering how I put my own parents through the ringer as a teenager, I was – and still am – ready for much worse. For now, though, we seem to be enjoying calm. It will probably storm at some point, but rather than fear what I can’t foretell, I’m realizing I need to begin marking this next phase in my oldest son’s life. I know that, like the last twelve years, it will fly by, and how and what I write about the person he is now will play a huge part in keeping that time in my memory. It makes his new nickname all the more important.