Teetering

Posted on | January 21, 2015 | No Comments

“These are baby socks!” He tossed them away, refusing to put them on his feet. I tried everything I could to convince him they were regular, normal, socks but he just wasn’t having it. He refused to wear them this weekend, opting instead for his Crocs that required no socks.  The next day it was more of the same.

Banks stepped in and told them they were big boy socks.

I told him they were socks that helped him run faster.

No matter what we tried, nothing was going to convince him that these new socks weren’t some trick to make him revert to infancy. They were just a different style of socks… not the long ones he’s been wearing, but the shorter style required by school uniforms everywhere. I was just thinking ahead… hoping that starting to wear them now would prevent a collapse on the first day of school.

He finally put them on this morning and came running down the hallway.

“These new socks don’t let me slip,” he grinned, “but they don’t make me run faster.”

He looked at me a little accusingly.

“You know there’s no such thing as socks that make you run fast, mom. It’s all about how big and strong you are and how much you practice running.”

I sighed a little and agreed with him because yes, of course he was right. But in my heart I longed for those days when I could tell him his shoes were magic or that this or that shirt would make him stronger. I longed for the days when he believed in pure, unadulterated magic. I watched him ceremoniously put his shoes on for school and I thought about how time flies. I thought about the moments, the seconds from now, when he tells me Santa isn’t real… when he tells me there’s no such thing as the tooth fairy. I watched the serious, quirky little face in front of me and wondered why he’s teetering so close to losing that magic… that little boy wonder where fairies are real and pirates lurk just round the corner. I wondered if maybe all of the “big boys do this” and “big boys don’t do that” had made him rush headlong into “big boy” and yet again, I wondered if maybe it was all my doing. If maybe I’d let him down by not pushing more fairy tales and less science lessons.

But then he looked at me, with those serious blue eyes and picked up the plastic wand he’d made with Banks last weekend. It was full to the brim with purple crystals, made with the help of a Grandparent gifted science kit. He asked if he could take it for show and tell and I said he could.

With a flourish, he whipped it around and pointed it at the dog.

“ABRACADABRA!” he yelled, or some variation thereof. He watched, still, as nothing happened and then turned back to face me.

“Maybe soon I can learn some real spells with my wand,” he announced, both hopeful and serious, that curiously sweet mix that only a five year old seems to have mastered.

I nodded, willing in the tears that sprang up in my relief and joy.

He’s teetering on the edge of big boy, yes, but he hasn’t fallen over just yet.

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    Spilled Milk (and Other Atrocities) by Law Momma is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
    Based on a work at http://www.law-momma.com.
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