The other day Zack came into my room crying.
I hadn't heard any crashes, slamming doors, yelling of the other Parental Unit, or anything that would have led me to expect this.
I asked Zack what was wrong and he said, "I'm not telling you," which is code for "I don't know how to tell you because I think you'll laugh at me." Poor little guy, he hasn't gotten it yet that Mommys really DO listen, even if kids on the playground don't.
So I hauled him up on my lap and let him sniffle a little longer and asked again what was wrong.
He finally came out with it.
He's afraid of growing up.
I knew exactly where this was coming from. Earlier in the day, we'd been going through his DVDs and books and he was telling me if something was too "babyish" for him anymore, and I put it in a pile to donate. That, and he starts first grade in about two weeks.
So I told him it was ok to be sad saying goodbye to things, but that if there were special things he wanted to hold onto, he should tell me so we could save them. I reminded him that one of my favorite books EVER is "A Little Princess" and I still read it now and again. I told him that one day I was going to convert one of the bedrooms into The Dollhouse Room and play dolls whenever I wanted to.
And then I talked about all the many neat things he was going to get into now, things he wouldn't have liked last year. For instance, didn't he like Phineas and Ferb now? (And I really must say, I love it too). And wasn't it cool that he could swim even better this year than last?
When I mentioned the new friends he'd make, he got the sniffles again, saying he'd never see his old friends EVER AGAIN, and I explained to him how school was time to meet a lot of new people, and that as you get older, you start learning how to change classes, so one day, you'll take math in one room, and there will be that friend, and then you'll take English in THIS room, and there will be THAT friend, and he thought that was very interesting.
After a while he got up and headed off to play Wii -- something else he didn't do last year. The irony didn't escape me.
I wonder if he knows that moms get growing pains, too, watching their little ones grow up?