Where Did the Time Go?

My son is turning 9 today.  This will be the last year of single digits and the last year of elementary school.  How is this possible?  Where did the time go?

There are photos.  There was a time when his head fit into my hand.  Today his hand is almost (but not quite) as big as mine.  Our feet are pretty much the same size and I have been known to wear his socks.

I remember taking him for his first haircut when he was 15 months old.  He didn't really need one, for that first year he barely had any but I was about to start a new job and figured a weekday would be a good time to try it as there wouldn't be as many people in the shop.  They gave me clippings of his fine blond hair.  I don't think he had another hair cut for nearly a year.  He didn't need it.  Today is hair his thick and more reddish than blond and if I can manage it, I have him go for a haircut every other month.  It grows that fast!

He still is a picky eater like he was on the day he was born.  Getting him to take a bottle wasn't easy.  He took 1/4 ounces at a time.  Once he was finally ready to go for "solids" (rice cereal), he was still a difficult eater.  He liked jarred baby food like carrots and sweet potatoes (and actually started to turn a slight orange color as a result), but wouldn't move up to "chunkier" foods for the longest time.  I feared that I would send it off to school with jars of Gerber stage 2 as he would "gag" on the stage 3.  To this day if he doesn't a food he will "gag."  Although he is growing more adventurous (to which I heave a sigh of relief).  He finally tried bacon for the first time a week or so ago.  He liked it enough to eat 7 slices the next time we made it.

How can I forget diapers?  I thought he'd never get out of them.  Would they make Pampers large enough?  Would he be accepted into Kindergarten if he still wore diapers?  Thankfully for the diligence of my husband we never found out, but it was a long and hard road!

His stubbornness is legendary and was obvious from day one.  When he wants things his way; that's it.  He won't be forced or pressured into anything.  (This can be a blessing and curse.)  For example he has never shown any real interest in riding a bike.  Not even a tricycle interested him (although he did have one).  He didn't mind being pushed, but he just wasn't into biking.  For a while I though he didn't know how to pedal, but he proved me wrong.  I thought that if his friends rode, he would want to as well.  Again I was proved wrong.  He was more than happy to run along them, but he no use for a bike.

I "forced" him to learn how to swim.  It wasn't fun.  But he loves the shore and spends many weeks at his maternal grandparent’s house which is right on a lagoon.  He needed to know how to swim.  He didn't have to be a champion, but he needed to know.  We tried group lessons, solo lessons, and lessons with people he knew.  Finally, my mother took him to someone and told him in the end, all he needed to do was doggie paddle.  We didn't care what it looked like, just as long as he could keep himself afloat.  EVENTUALLY it worked.  I wasn't there, but he did swim.  He hasn't done it since.  He can, but he won't.  Even though his friends swim and jump in the pool.  He won't.  That stubborn little boy who was born 9 years ago has a mind of his own.

I'm sure the next nine years, as he enters the teen years, are going to be full of more stubbornness.  I'll try to be prepared, but just as you can never be totally prepared for a newborn, neither can you be completely prepared for a teen (or even pre-teen).  But I'm ready to try.

Where have these nine years gone?  They've gone by in a flash.  And I'm betting that next year and the year after that (and so on); I'll still be asking that question.

Baby to boy to young adult...it happened all too fast.  Yet I will always cherish every moment.  (Even the ones that I will NEVER write about here.)


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