In my mind, the last couple of weeks have been about all these little moments of noticing how life is changing and how R is growing up.
On the way to and from the mall on Wednesday, R and I were listening to a radio station that was playing Beatles songs all day long (to celebrate the release of the remastered albums, plus Beatles Rock Band coming out). When Yellow Submarine came on, we sang the whole song together with the music cranked up and the car windows open. But I had to choke back tears because I kept remembering how A and I used to sing Yellow Submarine for R when he was a tiny baby. It was one of the ways we would keep R from crying in the car.
Yesterday, we went to the Brimfield Antiques Fair, where we met up with a friend and spent a great afternoon in the sunny, taste-of-fall weather browsing the wares and chatting with the vendors. At one tent, we found an old tin toy of a tiny wind-up train that goes around and around a little platform. The seller called out that he could "let it go" for $125. We just smiled and poked around at his other offerings. Meanwhile, R hung back at the tin train with the seller. I overheard this conversation and tried to stifle my laughter:
R: How much is it again?
Seller: I could do $90.
R: $90?!?!?! [long pause] Do you have any that are in a box?
Seller: No, but I have this horse toy in a box.
R: Well, I really like the train.
Seller: I could do $75.
My little boy was haggling!
Yesterday was also R's visiting "day" at kindergarten. It was half an hour for him to drop off his school supplies, meet his teacher, and tour the classroom while A and I toured the school. Even though R has seemed excited about starting school, I was pretty nervous because he's had a hard time separating from me recently. So, I explained to him ahead of time that he'd be with his teacher while A and I did something else for a little while. I showed him his teacher's picture that she sent and read him her letter. When we got to the school, he grabbed my hand and starting literally dragging his feet. But his teacher was fantastic - she remembered him from June (when we had a more general school visit), held out her hand to him, and got him quickly involved with an activity. R never looked back, and when we collected him after our tour, he was bouncing up and down with excitement. He told me all about his classroom (with way more detail than he ever gave me about his old school), what he did (decorated his name tag), and how nice his teacher is. Yay! What a relief. God definitely heard my prayers. (Which I had offered up at 5 am when I couldn't sleep from jitters and a racing heart.) It was also really nice to see some familiar faces - parents and kids - from the playdates I arranged over the summer. I think that helped all of us.
Today was our last pre-kindergarten "Mommy-R Day." We had a wonderful time just hanging out, watching Spongebob, going to the Museum of Science, baking cookies, drinking cocoa, and building a fort in the living room. But my favorite part of the day was early on when we we were snuggling on the couch, tickling each other, and giggling. R was giving me kisses and telling me how much he loves me. That will never get old! He's been super affectionate recently, but sometimes in a slightly more grown-up way - like when he throws him arm around me. This picture is from my sister's wedding last weekend:
R's independent spirit has been flourishing, and he's becoming quite outgoing. He's not afraid to ask questions or assert his opinion with other adults. Not in a rude way, but in a way that shows he wants to learn. I can't describe how happy that makes me, especially as someone who has issues with confidence and shyness herself! When we were in Pittsburgh for my sister's wedding, we took a river cruise that was sponsored by the science museum there. During the cruise, you could look at water samples under a microscope and use binoculars to look for ducks and other birds. R spent a long time talking to the museum staff about plankton, and then he spotted a girl about his age and plopped himself down next to her for the last part of the cruise. They chatted away happily while A and I watched from the other side of the boat. (I felt like I was fast-forwarding to the summer when R is 13.)
That's what I've been working on recently, though: forcing myself to watch from the sidelines. Letting R venture out a bit on his own, entertain himself a little more. He doesn't need me to be constantly an arm's length away anymore to catch him when he falls, to correct his behavior, or to speak for him. He's his own person, and a pretty nice one at that. Not to mention funny, silly, and smart. And sometimes a real pain in the butt and incredibly annoying. Oh yeah, and still in love with his mommy. :-)