Last night, I lay on the couch, tired and grateful for a soft place to land after a bad night's sleep. Nate was in the chair opposite me, his face half-buried in Meerkat Ninjas, a book he's been reading for his school's read-a-thon. Obviously, we only read literature of the highest quality around here.
I love watching him read. He scrunches up his forehead in concentration and moves his head back and forth to match the lines of prose. Most of all, he's still, quiet and that's never to be taken for granted.
I notice that his limbs are longer, leaner. His face is full of excitement most days - there is much to do, learn about, be obsessed about. He always has a story to tell. This spring he has chess, piano, baseball. He devours the books I bring home from work: books about ninjas, Star Wars, Geronimo Stilton, Minecraft. "Does the library have more, Mom?" he asks and I laugh.
There's always more books.
Some days, I'm so busy making a life for this kid I forget to stop and really look at him, all four feet of skinniness and giggles. How did he get so big, I wonder, already knowing the answer. It's where all the groceries and my sleep and the clothing budget go.
All the daily effort of growing a kid is a bit wearying, but the result is breathtaking.
Even if he does tell too many fart jokes.