Simon is, fortunately, a bit of a cuddle monkey. When he's not in his sensory seeking parental abuse mode, climbing on me, invading my space and otherwise likely to cause harm, he's content to prop himself up next to you to wind down with a book, or TV, or even playing with a small toy. Tonight he was tired and worn down from a sore mouth, and wanted to share the giant beanbag with me while he watched some video on his iPad. I was struck in this moment at how big he was. The little creature I could once football hold has personality and makes conversation. At 6, he's one-third of the way to legal adulthood.
I'm alarmed by this. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to go back to wiping his ass and waking up with him at insanely early times, but I'm also very aware of how fast his growing up seems to happening. By extension, this makes me aware of the passage of time in general, which I think people are already more sensitive to as they approach midlife. (I mean, a friend of mine, same age, is contemplating his approaching empty nest status... we got a late start.)
Look, I've said it before, it's not that I fear death per se. I accept and understand that I'm not here permanently, and I'm at peace with that. But if I found out I had three months to live, I'd likely skip the fear and sadness and go straight to being pissed. What is the alarm about? There are days when I feel that I haven't really done anything. Or maybe it's that I still have something to do. It's a ridiculous thing to have anxiety about, because if I look at my life, especially the last decade, I have seriously made it count, and it's been fairly epic.
I suppose I'm still not sure what I wanna be when I grow up, and watching my little boy grow up constantly reminds me of the wonder and fascination that goes with that age. Everything about where I've been and how it has shaped me has come into focus in ways I never expected. Heading toward middle age comes with some pretty outstanding self-awareness and experience. Now I actually know some of the things that I thought I knew when I was 21.
For now, I cherish those little moments with my little guy. He might have 12 years to graduation, but the time when Dad is uncool comes a lot sooner.