Monday, November 8, 2010

He’s Growing Up Too Fast – A Sentimental Mommy Moment

About two months ago, Facebook walls all over the country were punctuated by photos of eager young children in their first-day-of-school finery waiting for and waving from busses.  Teary-eyed, yet smiling, Moms captioned these with laments of the loss of having “babies” at home to sending “big kids” to school.  Luckily, since Luke won’t be five until December, he missed the kindergarten cut-off age for this year.  And, since we are homeschooling, I may never join in the bittersweet moment of Moms at the bus stop on the first day of kindergarten.  However, as I rediscovered a poppet Luke made in late August and think about how, in exactly one month from today, our little man will be official kindergarten age, I become a bit misty.  Also, I realize that I have already experienced a moment similar to all those described on Facebook this past September...

Luke, attention on the poppet table
You see, over the summer, Luke and Nina participated in our local library’s Summer Reading Program – an event we enjoy each year.  As one of their prizes for reading so many hours, they received coupons for a free slice of pizza at our local Papa Gino’s.  Since our family had been wanting to check out the weekly Kids’ Night there, we decided to use these coupons one late summer Tuesday night.

Well, as Luke enjoyed his slice of pizza, he glanced over to the craft table.  Soon enough, his attention to his pizza was replaced with a rapt study of how-to-make-a-poppet (a stick puppet made with a wooden ice cream spoon, a popsicle stick, glue, construction paper and googly eyes.)

As soon as Luke’s last bite was swallowed, he raced over to turn observation to creation.  Since he is often eager to participate in things, but reluctant to do so without Mommy or Daddy, I trailed him to the table to ask if he needed help.  “No, Mommy.”  Luke shooed me back to Nina, Jack and Daddy’s table, telling me he’d do it himself.  As I witnessed my boy – who seemed so big, tall and independent – dive into the craft, my eyes brimmed with tears.  My little boy was growing up…

Then, came the true tear-jerker:  With clever creative thinking, nimble fine motor finger work and a deft, determined smile, Luke crafted.  Once done, he proudly came to show us his masterpiece:

Luke's original design
 Impressed?  We were!  Sad?  A bit – not only did our now “big boy” not need us near him at a craft table for comfort nor direction, but he could make masterpieces all on his own.

And, here, I am not just exaggerating about Luke’s poppet with parental pride.  For while Mike and I were amazed at what Luke had done, the man that  has been running the local Papa Gino’s Kids’ Night for over a decade pronounced it a wonder more than once.  He made a point of coming over to us to assert that in all his years of doing this kind of work, he had never seen a kid as young as Luke take the initiative Luke had, with the creativity Luke used, to design a finished poppet like Luke had done.

Our boy may not be in kindergarten, but Mommy had “that moment” nonetheless.

How about you?  What teary-but-smiley moment have you had lately?


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