Wednesday, June 01, 2011

"Seriously Embarrassing" - By Cara Potapshyn Meyers

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how I saw a maturity in my 7/almost 8 year-old son. Somewhat a kin to a 13 year-old. Well, now I am absolutely convinced that my son is a 13 year old in a 7/almost 8-year-old body! Here’s why.

It began a couple weeks ago when he overheard some older kids at the park discussing which sleep-away camps they would be going to this summer. My son immediately approached my husband and me about going to sleep away camp this year. Considering that we already paid for the day camp he will be attending and that he hasn’t quite turned 8 years old yet, we had our reservations. Then an interesting opportunity presented itself.

The sleep away camp my husband went to when he was younger was offering “Parent Weekend” for both currently enrolled campers as well as perspective campers. My son could go for a three-day weekend with his father. He could choose to bunk with some boys at the camp or sleep in a tent with his Dad. He would participate in activities strictly for campers that weekend. “Family” activities would be offered as well. It would not only be the perfect weekend for my son to “test the water” regarding sleep away camp. It would also be on his birthday weekend - an added treat! We signed my son up with the promise that, yes, he would still have a birthday party!

Next, about a week later, I was driving my son to the store and he asked, “Mommy? Can I put the car in “park?” Knowing that I would press the emergency brake with my foot immediately upon stopping the car, I obliged. I then thought, “Next year, he’s going to want to drive this thing.” He also informed me that President Obama passed a law that stated children must be 10 years old before they can sit in the passenger seat of a car. At least he pays attention to the laws! He has also been asking numerous questions about driving and the “Rules of the Road.” Since I plan to eventually be the one who will teach my son to drive (I am a far better driver than my husband, no matter what he may think), I have been taking many opportunities to discuss and point out good versus not as good drivers. I also have to be careful of my own driving habits and speed because my “back seat driver” will point out every minor infraction I may make.

Finally, I absolutely knew that my son was “13” when we were driving to our local pool this past weekend. My son asked, “Mommy? When we get to the pool, can you just call me ‘Brandon’?” I knew that this day would come eventually, but not when my son was 7/almost 8! I responded to him, “You don’t want me to refer to you as ‘Sweetie’ or ‘Sweetie Pie’ or even ‘Honey’.” He nodded as I looked at him in my rear view mirror. Then he added, “And Mommy? When you pick me up from school, can you also just call me ‘Brandon’?” I promised that I would, with a small smile on my face. Then I asked, “My special names I call you embarrass you in front of your friends, huh?” He responded that they did. But he immediately followed his affirmation by specifying, “But that’s only for when we’re out, Mommy! If we are home or in the car, you can call me all those other things. It’s just that when we’re with my friends, it’s seriously embarrassing when you use those other names.” Seriously embarrassing. I expected my son to say something like this to me when he was at least 10 years old or older. But not at 7/almost 8! I chuckled to myself and thought, next year he’s going to want me to drop him off a block before where he may want to go!

"Seriously embarrassing." Yes, my little boy is no longer “little.” Although I may embarrass him, he still wants me to be his “real” Mommy when we are alone. But I better keep my promise to only call him by name when we’re out! We made a “pinky promise” on it!

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