Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Half a lifetime ago

Just over six years ago, I took this picture of our then-seven-year-old son. Go ahead and follow the link, then pop back here.

I still remember thinking as I quietly tripped the shutter that day that he was so young, so seemingly little, so frozen in time. Now that I have the benefit of hindsight, I think I might have been slightly mistaken.

Today, I picked our now-13-year-old up from his after-school program. As we walked back to the car in the bitterly cold, dark grey murk of a late afternoon in Southern Ontario, he told me about his top-of-the-class exam result, the project he was working on, and the "little" kids he looked out for in the school yard at recess.

I'm not ashamed to admit it thrilled me to hear him walk me through a typically great day. Listening to his voice, I could almost hear him coming into his own as a confident, accomplished kid with a personality that seems to become more fully-formed with each passing day.

I remember thinking how old he seemed. As if he didn't need me to orchestrate every last activity for him anymore. And he doesn't: he's managed just fine to make his own friends, build his own world within his school and community, connect with people beyond the immediate reach of his mom and dad.

The seven-year-old who quietly played with a plastic elephant on the floor while he waited for his brother to finish his lesson was no more. Yet the 13-year-old who now stood so confidently beside me wouldn't be who he is if he hadn't played with that elephant all those years ago.

I high-fived him, and he hugged me, tightly, back. Although almost half a lifetime separated these two seemingly small, everyday moments, I realized that some things never change. Nor do I ever want them to.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Congrats to both of you, Carmi!

Anonymous said...

it's a blessing and a privilege to be able to walk with our children as they journey to adulthood....