My son’s first real love in life is Mr. G; a rank smelling piece of terry cloth that once had a fluffy giraffe head attached to a small Linus style blanket. My boy has dragged Mr. G through mud, dirt, ocean tides, sand, food, blood, spit, dog hair, bath time, hospital trips, and the funk that is the floor of the car where my son sits strapped to his car seat. Mr. G has had quite a run in this family for the last four years.
I thought the run was over until this morning when my son threw down a tantrum so loud and so public that if I had a tail it would have curled up between my legs as I was running for the door trying to escort my screeching child to the parking lot. My son started gasping for air in that sort of cry that quickly snowballs into hyperventilating. No matter how seasoned of a mother I like to think I am, nothing prepared me for this kind of reaction: we were signing the boy up for pre-k.
In the midst of the child sobbing and the futile parental begging for calmness, my son began to demand his Mr. G. I was panicking because I knew the smelly blob of love to not be in the car. I was also surprised. My son, the flying super hero, the terrorizing lion tamer, the fighter of bad guys, was desperately needing the security of his very best friend. Until this morning fiasco he had been rejecting Mr. G for weeks. I was so sure the rein of germ terror was over. I was humbled by my wrongness.
If I hold my breath I am sure that I will be able to count to a reasonable number that will – with near accuracy – predict the number of times that my sweet boy will ask for Mr. G again before the shaggy love cloth is lost forever. And along with it the epoch of my son’s early childhood will fade into the background of school and friends and growing pains.
To be honest, I’m not sure who will miss Mr. G more, me or my son. Was there a defining moment when my son changed from a little sweet pea wanting to be held all the time into an independent and vibrant boy? Did I miss that moment in the daily shuffle of living? Does it matter that I did?
I’ll save Mr. G for prosperity. And also for future teasing. Perhaps I will save some of the best Mr. G And Boy Versus The World stories for when my son grows up and has children of his own. But for tonight I’m having a tough Mom time coming to grips with my little kid turning into a big kid. I suppose it doesn’t hurt my Mom ego that he asked to sleep in Mom and Dad’s bed. I’m grinning because he still needs me in that way that only a little boy can. And isn’t that was this is really about?
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