Report Cards and Legos

Drew has grown into a kid. 

He wears size 7 clothes and comes up nearly to my shoulder. He says things like, “Mom, you need to let me go to Kid Keepers or you’ll ruin my life.” He’s now a schoolboy, not a toddler, or a baby, or a lil peanut who needs me to carry him. No, he puts Lego sets together by following the instructions himself (pictures—let’s not get carried away). He has report cards. He has lines in a play (he’s the Wolf).

My mom says don’t worry, she’ll put together a wolf costume. She definitely could—she’s one of those moms people write about. The kind who do everything and then some, who throw elaborate birthday parties and decorate their own houses with curtains and pillows they made themselves. She made so many costumes for me in the late nineties…including a pilgrim outfit with lace-up vest and full skirt. I could’ve worked at Plymouth Plantation as one of the kids who didn’t survive the first winter.

I told her I’d figure the costume out, and Pinterest has many ideas. But it IS daunting. Not to have to make a costume, which, let’s be honest, I probably won’t do. Just being the Mom. Being one of two directors of a person’s childhood. It’s scary. 

I’m not artistic enough to do this the way my mom did. I can only cook simple food. I did what I wanted and expanded his food horizons—he says he loves dragon fruit and those green smoothies that are better than they look. But it’s all the STUFF. Guys, childhood has so many things in it that aren’t strictly necessary but feel so important to you when you’re little.

For instance, I haven’t signed him up for all the EVENTS. He claimed the other day that by not signing him up for Kid Keepers I had ruined his life. And yeah, that’s objectively not true, but to a 5-year-old, that’s the equivalent of a huge dip in your fortunes. It’s a major disappointment, a pit of sorrow. Yeah, he’ll get over it, but feelings are so much of your little world when you’re five. 

I vividly remember the Disney movies that affected me like Les Miserables. Drew has re-written Encanto to be about him, his imaginary wife and their imaginary children (13, last I checked. He’s raising them on a high school teacher’s salary, but their house is alive, so…) I remember things friends said to me on the playground, and so does he. And my times of great guilt, the dark nights of the soul I spent sitting out at recess…he has a few of those in his life story. 

What’s this post about? It’s about the same thing so many others are about—the weird double nature of having a son of my own. He’s a gorgeous, brilliant, amazing little human being, who sins and repents and has feelings that are so similar to, and so different from mine. The biggest of which is this…he also loves the movies of the Disney Renaissance, but he prefers the Little Mermaid to Beauty and the Beast. That’s insane.

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