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Wednesday, July 15, 2009They Grow Up So Fast
My cousin was experiencing one of his versions of nirvana; school was finally over allowing him to spend as much time he wanted in my house. He beamed at my mother ( his aunt/surrogate grandmother) as she placed a stack of pancakes in front of him. Yeah it was heaven, he was having breakfast with three of his favorite females and mom had made his favorite breakfast; banana nut pancakes, bacon, soft scrambled eggs, hot chocolate and orange juice.
“How’s your girl friend?” my sister asked as she began serving herself.
“We broke up.” He told my sister with his mouth wrapped around a fork.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full baby” mom reprimanded as she added a slice of bacon to his plate. The fact that he had a girlfriend never failed to amuse me. She’d won him over with gifts of jumbo crayons and scented markers back in first grade and he’d courted her with home made cup cakes and SpongeBob stickers. Since he’d always spoken about his sweetie only glowing terms I was surprised to hear that he’d ended it.
“Why did you guys break up?” I asked
He looked at mom chewed slowly and swallowed his food before opening his mouth to speak. Then he got this real serious look on his face, well as serious as a baby faced twelve year old could muster.
“I didn’t want to break up with her but I had to.” He replied
“Why was that?” mom asked
Mom knowingly nodded recalling the call she’d gotten from his mother and the lecture that she’d been forced to give him afterwards.
“What about them?” I asked faking ignorance at the drastic dip his grades had taken when he’d started junior high school. He immediately began to blush and shook his head. He didn’t want to talk about them. He’d always been an honors student and his brief fall from grace had embarrassed him.
“How’d you break up with her?” my sister pressed.
He took a sip of his hot chocolate and sighed.
“I told her I needed some time to myself. I have to focus on school.”
I hid my smile behind my mug while mom pursed her lips and looked away to keep from laughing. My sister just threw her head back and let out an ear piercing shriek followed by laughter.
“Oh my gawd you’re so cute look at you acting all grown!” my sister teased.
He blushed again and glared at her. Mom cleared her throat and gave my sister ‘the look’.
“Junior high school is no joke Caity it’s hard! I have to keep my grades up if I want to get into a good high school. I’ve got to start planning for my future!”
That statement sent my sister into another fit of laughter. Mom couldn’t help herself at that one. She jumped out of her chair and hugged him tightly.
“My little man…oh I love you so much.” She said as she rained kisses all over his beet read face.
“Titi…TITI... I’m twelve years old for Pete’s sake !” he yelled as he squirmed in her embrace. Mom quickly released him and sat back down.
"Plus if if we're really meant to be and she's my soul mate we'll get back together again."
Caity squealed again and mom's jaw dropped open from the shock of what he'd said. I tried not to smile but I failed miserably.
A quick montage of memories ran through my head as I looked at him. He'd been my taste of motherhood. While his parents worked at night I'd been his primary caretaker when he was born. For 4 years he'd been my responsibility. I only relinquished the job when I started college and he began pre-K. From 3 pm until 11 pm his every feeding, bath and diaper change had been my responsibility. I'd introduced him to Dr. Seuss and taught him how to read and how to write. I held back for as long as I could and jumped out of my chair repeating my mother's earlier move.
"Mia! Miaaaaaaaa -ah!" he wailed and his arms went flaying about.
"Oh shut up you!" I said hugging him tighter. "You're always going to be my baby." When I finally released him I gave him an eskimo kiss. Something he'd always loved as a little guy.
"Awwww Mia!" he protested as our noses touched. He may have protested the initiation of the action but I noticed it didn't stop him from rubbing his nose along mine and wrapping his arms around my neck. They grow up so fast.
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