In one year the roundish face has become oblong and his nose has taken on a rather nice lean shape. He no longer chortles at any joke. His cute paunch has become a washboard. Instead of trotting hither and thither, he lopes lazily on long boned legs from room to room. His childlike enthusiasm for digging up mud in the garden, building strange contraptions with odds and ends, seeing play potential in a simple wooden plank... has disappeared. In its place is a young lad observing the world quietly through lazy half-opened eye lids - judging, evaluating, concluding ...
I miss my chatty little one who would reach out with one little hand to turn my chin towards him demanding my attention, "Mommy, Mommy... talk to me! Talk to me, Mommy!" Now, I have to hug him gently from behind his chair, and say, "Son, talk to me."
All year, he had no time to talk to me much.
He's had a tough year, my little big one. He had taken on 3 CCAs at the start of the year and found it hard to cope. He dropped one CCA but his days were still pretty intense since he was training for competitions in the other 2 CCAs. He trained so hard that there really wasn't any time to study after school. He took to doing his HW in the empty time between classes, or when Teachers were scolding someone else. He would study ahead during the long festive weekends so as not to fall behind. Thanks to his study schedule, our family didn't go anywhere interesting during any of the long festive weekends this year.
Now, it's after exams, and my boy has time to talk to me again.
We talked about the unrest in the Middle East. We talked about the US government shutdown. We talked about the NSA spying on Chancellor Merkel. Then, I remarked, "The USA has become very naughty. The world is becoming more and more unsafe."
Little Boy raised one eyebrow at me, "Mom, the USA has always been naughty. It's just that things are now falling apart over there and all these naughty things are coming out. Did you expect that the USA didn't do any spying before Merkel?"
Then, Little Boy raised the other eyebrow at me, "Mom, we live in an era that is actually very very safe. Think about it. Before this, there was the Cold War. Before that, there was World War II and the horrendous holocaust. Before World War II, there was the Great Depression in USA. Before that, there was World War I... and there was that French Revolution thing... and how the Tsar of Russia was murdered in a country torn apart by famine... and then before that there were wars and wars and wars with Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane... there were the Scots against the English... the English against the French. Mom, there has been war and violence in every age of human history. Our world at present is actually very safe."
I certainly didn't expect a lesson in world history as I held his hand companionably across the road. I felt like cracking one of my silly and childish jokes but it seemed out of place with this boy who is almost a man.
He's my little old head.