Friday, June 01, 2007

A glimpse into our future...

Today my eldest child made his first ever purchase with his own money. It was such a delight to watch. Jackson has been bugging me for a month to buy a yellow scoop truck from Target. He spied it weeks ago and hasn't stopped talking about it. I told him he could use his birthday money from BJ to make the purchase (since we didn't even up getting a book after last week's disastrous trip to the bookstore). So today while we were at Target I grabbed the few essentials I needed and then headed to the toy section. Carefully Jackson perused all the bright yellow scoop trucks and picked the one he wanted. Surprisingly it was the smallest, least expensive one on the shelf. But he was adamant about it. So I handed it to him and he carried it to the check out stand. I told the guy behind the counter that the young man would be paying for his item and I would pay for mine. Jackson handed him his scoop and the $20 bill, which we dug out of his big, yellow crayon bank this morning. Carefully he watched as the checkout guy scanned the truck, put it in a bag, and handed him his receipt and change. Jackson had sort of an embarrassed but proud look on his face. He thanked the check out guy and waited patiently for me to finish paying for my items. He kept peering into the bag, gingerly touching the plastic packaging around the truck, and then closing the bag up again. He was full of anticipation waiting to get to the car to open it, I could tell. But more than that he was so incredibly proud of himself. As was I of him. It reminded me, once again, how quickly he is growing up. And how these little, precious moments are what I pray I will remember when he 17 and racing out the door for a date or a game or whatever...

And on the way home, as he played with his new (loud!) scoop, I noticed a car next to me stopped at the stop light. In the car was a young boy - he couldn't have been more than 16 years old - and a middle aged woman, maybe mid 40's, sitting to the right of him. Now as this is America, his sitting on the left side means he was driving. He was trying to act very cool, I could tell. He kept fiddling with his sunglasses and the radio dial and the rear view mirror. He sat so far back in his seat I wondered if he was driving with his fingertips and tippy toes to brake. I noticed a somewhat exasperated look on the woman - obviously his mother. Exasperated, yes, but also with a slight smile. She too was aware of him trying so hard to "act cool" with his mom in the car with him. It was a brief scene, and soon the light was green and we were all moving, but it stuck with me the rest of the day. There she was with her almost-grown son, learning to drive. And my two small boys sat in the back seat of my car, tucked safely in their car seats. Holden trying desperately not to fall asleep (he failed) and Jackson happily playing with his new purchase. And I realized soberly how soon that day was going to be here... my boys no longer small and fragile. Soon they will be big, gangly teenagers running through our house at top speed, eating us out of house and home. Soon we will be handing over the keys to our car, waiting up until curfew for the keys to announce their arrival back home again, safe and sound. Soon they won't be constrained by car seats or our outdated rules. But it isn't "soon" yet, and I'm holding onto these days as tightly as I can. Challenges and all. Because for now, it's all about purchasing a scoop truck for $3.49. By the way, have I mentioned the boy already owns at least 32 scoop trucks? Ah well, it's his money...right!?

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