Last week, my husband and I were headed out to finish up the rest of our Christmas shopping.
Just before we left, our oldest son (who is 12) ran up to me and said, “Will you buy me some toys?” When pressed for some specifics, he just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Whatever. Just some toys.”
And that conversation has ran over in my mind since then. This young man, who is learning and exploring this new world of adolescence, is still a child. While he may be lost in his headphones and music and new friendships and embarking on social media, he’s still a child.
And he wants some toys. Because, he isn’t quite ready to say goodbye to all that being a boy entails.
There are times when I glance at this child of mine and my breath catches, because it’s there, right in front of me: The man he is quickly becoming is appearing before my eyes.
But that man is not here yet. Right now, I have a 12-year-old boy who is stretching his wings, testing the waters, but who still wants some toys at Christmas.
And then I glance at his brothers, who, no matter what I do, are not far behind him. There were days when I couldn’t leave the house without one or all three in full costume. And I knew enough then to treasure it, because those little superheroes wouldn’t stick around my house forever.
This is where we are. This growing up. This growing older. This leaving boyhood behind and becoming men. This in-between.
I’m taking hold of it. I know that it’s precious and fleeting and I only have their whole hearts for but a moment before they are launched into the world to make their own mark.
But for now, I have one on my lap and two by my side.
And I’m going to put toys under that tree for a few more years!