Thursday, January 19, 2012

Growing Up and Up and Up

A few minutes ago, my baby, Quinn (he's 12, not a baby, I realize) walked up to me and asked a question.  I have no idea what it was.  I just knew I was staring this man-child straight in the eyeballs.  My only response was, "Are you taller than me?".

He's not.  But give him a couple of days.

For the past two months, Quinn is growing like a weed.  A half inch to an inch every few weeks.  I know because he asks me to measure him virtually every morning.

He's taller in the morning, he tells me.  The spine hasn't yet condensed.

Quinn, as I mentioned, is the baby.  My 14-year-old, Graham, grew past me about a year ago.  Left me in the dust at least 4 inches ago.  And I'm not tiny.  I'm 5'7" (in the morning, anyway).  He looks like someone took him and, like taffy, just pulled.  Nothing on his bones.  No meat.  No muscle.  Just legs.  Lots and lots of legs.  He runs cross country, which makes so much sense because of all those legs.

But Quinn's question in the kitchen happened to come after I had just walked through the hallway where Graham was working on homework.  Slouched in his seat a bit, he had looked up at me and I saw not the baby I once knew, cuddled and swathed, but a dude. He was a total dude sitting there twiddling his pencil in his fingers while he studied.  A total, handsome dude.  Who just happened, this day, to make a big decision as to which high school he'd like to attend.  Not an easy choice for this child who likes to please everyone.  But he did it.

And this also falls on the day that the 16-year-old in our family, Kristen, got her braces off and went from being a beautiful girl to an absolutely beautiful, stunning young woman.  She's not taller than me and never will be.  But we try not to rub that in.

And it also happens to fall on a day when my youngest, Quinn, had to call the eldest, Brent (who is "away" at college - as in 10 miles "away") and ask him if he could attend an event with him on Sunday (an NFL playoff day mind you).  Not only did the college kid call back.  He did something even more amazing.  He said, "Yeah.  Sure".  Ah-maze-ing!

You really may not fully appreciate how amazing that is until you've had a kid go to college and forget about your family almost entirely.  Until you do, please understand, this is a small miracle.

I've decided that this must be a "rite of passage" day in our family.  A day everyone grew up (literally and figuratively) a little bit.

Makes a mom happy and sad all at once.

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