Jack slow danced across the grass. The dusk light escaping behind the bushes where fireflies twinkled. With smooth steps, he silently approached a sparkling bug. His hands reaching toward the moon.

I watched cross-legged from the front lawn. Admiring his dedication. Amazed at how old he looked. It feels like boyhood happened so quickly. I can barely remember his sweet baby babble of mispronounced words.

Now he’s almost 6 years old. Growing long hair like a hockey player. Obsessed with the difference between amphibians and reptiles. More interested in his friends then his mom. And, devoted to learning to read this summer. My little boy is just a boy now.

Traits of his babyhood have carried over. Like his nighttime blanket and fascination with how everything works in this world. His silliness and stubbornness. He would rather be outdoors then playing with toys.

But, his hands are now tough. His responses a little snarky. His preference is a shower in the morning. And, his music interest is all his own. The dirt under his nails is permanent from searching for worms to feed his snake, Laser.  I swear my voice is pouring with pleasantry as I kindly ask him to remove his plate from the table. Eyes rolling he says, “I’m just finishing my milk, mooooommm.” A warm shower in the morning wakes him up. His words. And, his song requests switch from Luke Bryan to some rapper covered in tattoos and gold chains. 

My favorite boyhood moments are the little ones. Early mornings when he asks me if his clothes match. His innocence shinning though his eyes. The times he invites his little sister to play. His soft voice showing her the steps to take as they pitch a fort together. The true laughter that comes from a sarcastic remark I make. An understanding that had soared over his head a year ago.

The jar of lightening bugs glows at my feet. Jack races over, adds another one to the collection.

“I love you, bear,” I say.
He glances at me. “Love you too, mom.”
He darts away, still hung on catching the twinkling bugs.
“You’re going to have to let them go,” I call. Still stuck in this boyhood moment.
“I know, I’m going to before we go inside,” he quietly calls back.

I smile. I miss that little boy. But, I sure am glad I let him go. Just in time to see this wonderfully intuitive and glowing kid in front of me.

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