Dear Youngest, Please don’t grow up.

Remember when you were young and couldn’t wait for your next birthday?  It seemed like life passed by slower than your Aunt Agnes at a flea market.  Then all of a sudden you’re in your 30’s and you’re wishing you could put yourself in one of those foodsaver vacuum sealer thingies.  A decade later,  you could pull your young, fresh, self out for additional enjoyment.

Well, I have begun to feel the same way about my kids.  When they were really young and attached like leeches, time seemed excruciatingly slow.  My oldest was a prolific pooper, and I was convinced that the smell of toddler poo would forever be ingrained in my nasal cavity.  But time passes.   The youngest is now 8, and unless I stop feeding him and put a brick on his head, he is growing up and away from me faster than you can say my beautiful balloon.

So what’s to be done?  Other than strapping him in a car seat until he’s 16, probably not much.  But I’m determined to hold onto the little kid moments I have left.  One of which is the teddy bear.  My 8 year old son, who is already cooler than cool since he tries to emulate his older brother whenever possible, still carries The Ted around and won’t go to sleep without him.  I, of course, don’t discourage the practice, and in fact have knitted Mr. Ted a sweater, pants, mittens, and ski toboggan for when the little dude hits the slopes of the 2nd story staircase.                                                                                                                                    

Did I cry at his kindergarten graduation?  No.  When he snapped his arm in half falling off the McDonald’s playland?  Nope.  But I will boohoo pitifully the day Teddy is relegated to a box under the bed  like Woody in Toy Story.  My only hope is that I”ll be waving goodbye to that stuffed bear  as he and my baby load up the car for college.   For now, I am holding on…as hard as he’ll let me.

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