Max is going to be 9 in two months. It is really, really hard to believe.
Like many moms, I don't want my baby to grow up. And yet, I do want Max to grow up, and forge ahead developmentally.
I know that Max is perfectly content with himself. I know, too, that progress happens at Max's pace. I can coax him along, get him lots of therapy, work with his teachers to best help Max learn. But you can't fast-forward a child.
So what I try to do is savor the sweet, little-kid stuff he's still got instead of worrying about why it's still there. I don't always succeed.
This weekend, we went to a crafts fair. Max wanted us to buy him a wooden duck you could wheel around, with rubber feet that went "Splat! Splat! Splat!" on the pavement. It was a pretty cool duck, as far as wooden ducks go.
So we got him the duck, and Max fell in love. He walked it around for hours. He even made sure the duck was fed.
Grass, not spaghetti.
He also made sure the duck "bit" Sabrina's foot.
Practically every person who walked by smiled at Max and his duck. Then I heard some woman say, "Why, isn't he the cutest thing!" and I had a flash of "Max is too old to be doing this." I thought about other kids Max's age, who probably wouldn't want to roll a duck around town. Even Sabrina, who's 6 and who typically wants everything Max has, didn't ask for a turn. I started wondering whether he might still be rolling that duck around years from now.
I took out my mental mallet and pounded those thoughts down. Bam! Bam! Bam! Bad thoughts! Because this was our reality: Max was having the best time with that duck. Me, I could choose to worry, or I could choose to savor his happiness.
I chose happiness.