Thursday, July 06, 2006

Sandcastles and Ice Cream Kisses

It's amazing how your kids grow and change, and sometimes you don't notice. Or you do, and you're not quite sure what to do with it. Just yesterday Kevin and I were driving to the library, and it hit me that he'll be in grade six next year.

Grade six. Entering the age of 'too cool', pretty soon hitting the teenage years. Gulp. To me, he teeters on the edge. Some times he's this little boy who still wants cuddles and kisses, who sleeps with his dog stuffie and cries over injustices, and others he's discussing the importance of world events. It's odd, seeing this change back and forth multiple times a day.

Yesterday a friend of mine phoned and wanted to go to the beach with the kids. Which at first I thought was great, because Kevin loves the beach. Even as close as last year he'd happily play in the sand, dig for clams, catch crabs, and build sandcastles. Those days are gone and have given way to swimming in the waves, running around on his wakeboard, and building forts with friends. The day was cloudy and cool-not exactly swimming weather. Her kids were 5 and 18 months, which is more of the lets-play-in-the-sand variety. Kevin was bored stiff. He wandered off and read a magazine, politely tried to play with the younger kids, and then looked at me with these "please, please, get me out of here" eyes. How I wished for the days where he'd be happily digging in the sand, exclaiming over the odd clam or content combing the beach for shells. He's moved on to bigger and better things, and here I am-stuck where he used to be.

I think all parents feel the sting of letting go when one stage gives way to the next, but at times I envy those with more then one child. At least they have the second or third child to go through that same stage with, whereas I'm forced to give it up entirely. Just like a sand castle, we take the time to build it, we enjoy it, and then before you know it the tide comes in and it's gone again.

On the way home we stopped for ice cream. As we sat on a bench, watching the people shopping in the mall, he put his arm around my shoulders and rewarded me with a sloppy, sticky, ice creamy kiss. I smiled to myself. At least we haven't left that stage yet.

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