I have a teenager, a preteen and a 9 year old.

Big kids, right?  I mean, they can practically take care of themselves at those ages.  OK, so not really, but they CAN contribute to their care and well-being now.  My daughter made herself an amazing salad last night for dinner because she didn't want pizza.  Voluntarily and independently.  See, you're reading this thinking "wait, the kid would rather have salad than pizza?" and I'm all "oh my gosh, she did it herself, and even cleaned up afterward!"  But the salad part is good too.  Girl loves her some veggies.  So, yeah, they're becoming more independent and responsible and mature (kind of) and big.

So big that sometimes you forget that they're really little.

This is especially true lately for my 9 year old.  He's a mature kid and as such, I sometimes forget he's, well, only 9.

And sometimes, it's good to be reminded.

I was reminded yesterday in church.

The beauty of church is that it forces you to stop, and listen, and reflect.  For me, it's not just about the message, it's a quiet time to reconnect with my so often overlooked inner peace.  A chance to just sit and BE.  

During a solo, T leaned over to me and whispered, "is he speaking Spanish?"  There was a lot of vibralto, and the soloist had a deep baritone and was truly moved by the music.  It made me remember when I was little, and I couldn't understand the soloists until one day, I did, and I thought, ok, this must mean I'm growing up.

Later, the minister mentioned leaving the church parking lot to head out on a trip.  He leaned over and asked "does he live in the church?"

He lives in our neighborhood, actually.

After a few minutes, T took hold of my hand, exploring the lines on it with his fingers and playing with my rings, and leaned his head against my shoulder.  As I gazed down at his curls, the way his eyelashes hit his freckles, his little brown stick legs, his mis-buttoned shirt, dirty fingernails and two different flip flops (oops), I realized that I haven't been fair to him.  Too often, I lump him into the same group as the older kids and for the most part he's happy to be there.  But he's not one of them.  He still marvels at his discoveries and plays pretend and likes to invent.  He's a little afraid of the dark and sleeps with a lovey.  He believes in Santa and the tooth fairy and miracles and magic.  He's still trying on who he is and getting a feel for all his opportunities.  His fingers are little, his feet are little, HE is little.

And I needed to be reminded of that.

Because I'm not ready to let that go just yet.


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