My Big Baby

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(My goofball making me “prom pose” with him.)

Almost every morning when I drop off my kids at school, my 16-year old son says, “Bye mom. I love you.”

Sometimes this big kid even says, “Bye mommy.” I don’t dare tell him how much I love it for fear he’ll get self conscious and stop.

When he was younger he’d call out to me from around the house with a nonsensical “mommy, my-my, moo-moo, meemee!” It made me laugh so of course, it was ceaseless. Boys are like that. If they get a girl to laugh…be ready for a repeat performance.

He still tries to get my attention with a booming rant of “Mom. Mom. Mom. Mama. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mama. Mom” when I’m standing right in front of him.

When you decide to have a child, you of course imagine cute babies and adorable toddlers. You generally know that they grow up to become actual people. But here’s the thing. You should yearn to have a teenage son.

Teenage sons are just long, lanky toddlers with deep voices and body odor.

He’s affectionate in the same way he was as a little boy. But now it’s a text from school after a chemistry test or when he learns the Yankees will retire Derek Jeter’s number.

He sneaks up behind me while I’m cooking and lifts me off the ground or hugs me and tackles me onto the couch to tickle me.

When I’m anxious about something like his taking the car, he teases me (in an exaggerated Spanish accent for some reason.) “Jes mom, I’m going to get into an asseedent yust driving to eschool fife minutes awaay.”

A few days ago, he told me that a girl he took out on a date texted him that she just wants to be friends. “How does that make you feel?” I asked. “I’m cool. I don’t really care.” And he doesn’t.

He’s easygoing and naturally happy. But he will care someday. He will fall in love and all that affection and closeness will shift to her, as it should.

But for now he’s my guy. My big baby. And I will savor every single moment. I know it is fleeting and I don’t take a moment for granted.

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