I found myself hurrying home from school yesterday. I had to get home so he wouldn’t be alone. He’s just a small boy, not ready to be left alone. He spends a lot of time alone when he has all of us there. He prefers his ‘private time.’ Many times I’ve gone into his room to see what he was doing and he has chased me away with ‘you’re intruding’ looks. He likes his private time.
He’s the baby of my brood. He’s the one that gave me the biggest run for my money. He’s the one that would disappear; silently, with no warning. One minute he was there and the next he was just….gone. It gave me gray hair, ulcers, panic attacks, and a whole new vocabulary that included ‘where is he’ every other sentence. He’s the baby.
He’s smart, but not necessarily street smart. I remember the day a total stranger took him by the hand and walked him all around our neighborhood, asking him if each house was his. None of the houses belonged to him, even the one with his brothers and sisters playing in the fully open back yard. He just wanted to go to Grandma’s house. He had only been at Grandma’s house once, when he was a few months old. He’s smart, but not street smart.
I didn’t like leaving him home after school because I knew he would just get on the video games. Anything he learned would be drained out his ears before I could get home. I had to hurry home. He’s the baby. He’s smart, but not street smart. He shouldn’t be home alone.
I needed to change lanes and head home. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw…..my baby. I’d forgotten. Forgotten he’d grown up and joined his brother at the Junior high. Forgotten that he could navigate the campus alone. Forgotten that he was rocking out with us to Metallica in the car.
It’s not fair. The bittersweet joy of our children growing so fast. I’d forgotten how fast, how far, how soon…..He’s my baby……he’s smart…..he wasn’t home at all.
Cause I said so.
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