"I'm getting too old for this." I freeze and fight the tears that I know are on their way. I look desperately at my husband, who, in noticing my reaction, rolls his eyes and and shrugs his shoulders. Typical. It is the magical hour, before the kids go to bed, when we all cuddle in our bed and watch a couple of shows. It is the only time in the day, when they slow down enough to let me snuggle them. When we make it a point to all be together. We have been doing it since they were babies and it is my favourite. It's our tranquil twilight.
My oldest baby is turning eight, this month. Eight! It has been eight years since I saw his perfect face, for the first time. This fact alone is enough to turn me into a blubbering baby. Baby. Not a baby. Bawling. My first born and I have always been attached at the hip. He is my sensitive one. The one who has always seemed to need me more. The one that is always close. But, this seventh year and a new haircut, has brought about a shift.
It started out subtle enough. He would wave me out of the room, during a Zoom class meeting. I stood outside the door, understanding that he probably just didn't want the distraction. But, then he waved me away from the door. I put it off to these strange times of the pandemic and home schooling. I mean, obviously it couldn't have anything to do with him growing apart from me. Growing up. It embarrasses him, when you are around, Anxiety muttered under her breath. I was not in the mood for her mean girl, meddling bullshit.
Then, after refusing a haircut for the first half of the quarantine and starting to seriously resemble one of The Beatles, he let my husband cut his hair. Only on the sides and the back, so that he could maintain his hipster bangs, in the front. What they don't tell you, is that those bangs come with an attitude. Bold bangs, as it were. With a flip of the bangs, comes a flippant disposition. Everyday requests started to be met with stubborn resistance. Bang flip. I took these changes in stride. After all, we still had twilight.
"I'm getting too old for this." It is tranquil twilight. We are snuggling and I am running my hands through his hair, like I always have. For the past seven years. The first couple of times, he would just move his bangs back to their preferred position. I guess when I didn't respond to his subtle hints, there was no other option than to say those horrifying words and smash my heart into a million pieces. His bangs had solidified it. He was asserting his independence. His new haircut had given him the hutzpah. His hair was changing. He was changing. He was ready. Even if I wasn't.
Now, during tranquil twilight, I do my best to remember not to touch his hair, if I am lucky enough to get a snuggle. To remember that his bangs are boss now and they want boundaries. To reassure myself that this is healthy and what I want for him. And, when all that fails, to have a little weep, once he has gone to bed.
Eight. It has been eight years, since I saw his perfect face, for this first time.
Does Mommy need to lose her shit?
Not this week.