Wednesday, January 29, 2014


He used to squeal with delight, as a small boy, when his mama and daddy would surprise him with a big smooch. One on each cheek, making a little boy sandwich.

He used to wear this sparkling, contagious smile at all times of the day. Especially at 5:30 AM when he'd be wide awake and ready to start his day, regardless of the sleeping habits of his adults.

He loved perching on my lap, snuggling in for as long as he could remain still. (Which was never long enough for his mama.) His hand always able to find mine, holding tight in only the way a little boy can hold his mommy's hand.

He was this little boy who emanated life and love and pure joy.

Gavin remains a happy child, but in a different way... toned down, tweenish. Lovely in his own, new way.

I don't know when it happened; maybe it didn't happen all at once, maybe it was gradual. But somewhere along the way those things that seemed to define him as a little boy have faded away. As he grew, those things about him diluted or evolved.

Back then, in the moment, I took those things for granted. Didn't soak them up the way I should have, because now that they're gone, I want nothing more than to go back and enjoy them all over again.

You see, now he doesn't really care for big smooches so much. He's okay with a peck on the cheek or forehead, but not much more. (Although he's a great hugger.) He just shows his affection differently.

He still wears a big smile and is filled with more energy than I can even imagine... but it's tempered. Still happy as only Gavin can be, just a little different.

He snuggles a bit, and will even hold my hand on occasion... when nobody is looking. (Which is never often enough for his mama.)

Last night when I went down to check on him one last time (to make sure he wasn't reading too late into the night) I realized that I couldn't recall the last time I could really give him a big smooch, without the auto-response, "Mo-ommm..." It made me miss that little boy Gavin and appreciate the 10-year-old version all at once. I also felt like all of this happened overnight.

In reality, it didn't. We were busy living life when things just began to shift.

It scares me to think that if I have this thought 10 years from now, he'll be an adult, living a new adventure.... and that.... that brings me back today and will help me to appreciate now. Smooching him as much as I can, holding his hand when I can, hugging him tightly always... regardless of the tweenish objections.

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