I've never had an eleven year old son before.  He's so many things all at once these days and sometimes these differing aspects of his personality strike me as being contradictory. 

He is sometimes still a child, playing with his color changer Hot Wheels in his now-necessarily-daily shower.  He still plays little role playing games with his younger siblings and though  it's all done under the guise of 'look at what a good older brother I am,' I can see that he genuinely still enjoys these little blips of his not-quite adolescent life.  Few things bring him more joy that going on Dictionary.com and orchestrating things so that grown-up  (and even better - English) voices enunciate words like poop and butt-cheeks.  He loves to play with our cat and they chase each other merrily all around the house, pouncing on one another in turns.  He still requests each night to be specially 'put to bed,' and feels very hard done by if we bypass his room and only feel we have the energy to formally put the Littles to bed.  In so many ways, he's still a little boy.  A little boy who secrets away the Omega-3 tablets that he's supposed to take each morning at breakfast.  Sometimes I find his stash.  This boy still makes me a homespun Valentine card each year and he's quick to sacrifice his now relatively rare peer-given Valentine candies to me, though he really should not.  When it's his lot to kill houseflies in the summer, he's been known to leave one - carefully arranged - for me on my pillow at night.  A transcendant maturity has not always been his to brag of.

But more recently, these precious last blips of childhood are intermingled with the qualities of an older boy.  Every now and then his voice cracks as he speaks.  He's good natured and laughs at himself when this happens, and he likes to recreate the cracking words over and over for our listening pleasure.  Sometimes when people phone and he answers, they assume he's me.  This too, fortunately, he finds funny so far.  I've alluded to the necessity of regular showers now in his nascent life.  These showers are no longer optional.  He gets to choose class options now in school, which he finds animating and empowering.  Girls contact his older sister via Facebook to enquire about his relationship status.  He is an excellent babysitter and the house is always spotless when we arrive back home, because he knows a monetary bonus is therefore his.  He loves foreign exchange students and does everything he can to ease their transition into Canadian life; he feels very aware of their potential loneliness.  This boy is a beautiful person and in a strange sort of twisting inconsistency, he's curiously mature.  I wish so much that I could post his picture so that you could see the freckles skittering across his nose.  I think they might be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

02/22/2011 10:09am

I love this post! You have again described this marvelous child/teen to a "t". Matt & I are often in AWE of his social skills and LOVE that he can laugh whole-heartedly at himself and really, anything! We love this guy - thanks for posting this marvelous entry on him. Oh...and thanks for NOT moving to Kamloops :)

05/31/2012 3:55am

Nice blog about the joy and the motherhood.Thanks for sharing your experience.

02/23/2011 7:47pm

o thank you, Syl. your love for my kids never ceases to bless me. they are richer for your love.

i also just wanted to add that today while in search of some frozen meat or other to defrost, i found a stuffed pink penguin inside the freezer that this big, brave almost-teenager had stashed away in there. when i asked him about it, he said he was just trying to make the penguin more comfortable! ah, my sweet, sweet boy. maybe not *quite* ready for girls yet!

02/24/2011 11:51am

O my....that is just too funny. At least he's very thoughtful....thinking of that penguin and all :)

And to love your kids is EASY - they are wonderful - what else can be said!?

02/26/2011 6:18pm

okay, I'll just pretend I DIDN'T read the "thanks for not moving to Kamloops" comment!

03/05/2011 1:25pm

Ive just fallen in love with him all over again! Dawson too still asks me to lay with him at bed time, Im so grateful, I thought this day would have long passed! I laugh because little nasty girls also go through Tays facebook and try to get their claws in Dawson, he seems irritated still, ThankGod! The penguin story made me laugh out loud!


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