He’s so quickly turning into a little young man. It scares me and gives me hope all in one breath. He’s observant and quiet, and then in the next moment enjoying a hearty laugh. He’s inquisitive and curious, and asks more questions than I sometimes care to answer. He makes us smile, and can aggravate me to no end when he acts like a normal 10-year-old boy. In those moments, it is painfully obvious to me that I know nothing about raising a son. Coming from a family of 5 girls with no brothers leaves me feeling inexperienced, bewildered and often inadequate. At best.
We’ll sometimes banter back and forth; he’ll tease me for talking about some new information that I learned at school, ranking on me for using big “medical” words. (“C’mon, Mom!”) While trying not to smile, he’ll interject a little rolling of the eyes here and there, and it works for us. I have to tease him when he summarizes his entire new World War II book to me while we run errands after school. But he knows I secretly love to hear about his adventures in print, even if he does seem to drone on and on about some little detail that I confess to being uninterested in. I’ll interject a little “uh-hmm” here and there, and it works for us. I admit that even when I frustratingly call him 3 times to empty the dishwasher or have to harp on him to bring out the trash, I am (sometimes) glad to find that once again it’s a book that has garnered his attention.
I think my favorite thing is to see the look on his face when he’s so engrossed in a plot that everything else recedes in his world, and he’s completely unaware of life around him. As much as he may be a good older brother to his siblings (sometimes), I don’t think I could ever leave him with them as a babysitter. I always tell him that the house could be falling down, but if he was in a book, it would escape his notice. When I see that look on his face, I always tell myself I should get a picture of it, because it won’t be long before he won’t be wanting to sit in the recliner and read a good book. Each time I see him reading, I keep saying to myself, “I should get the camera…” After telling myself that too many times, I finally did.
I see so many things in his face here, a little piece of the tiny baby I once knew– and a small glimpse into the man he will become. There are things about him that remind me of so many people in his life from both sides of our family. Little mannerisms from older generations that seem to show on his face while he soaks up the printed words. I love how his face is at rest, so smooth, free from care or worry. I see all the little unique things that make up this boy I love. And then I smile.
-Louis L’Amour, American author 1908-1988