my oldest son recently turned nine. an acquaintence, eyeing the photographs we had done to mark the event, remarked that he appears 'good and half-baked.'
for a moment, i wondered who is the dealer in my son's fourth grade class, and is that what he's doing up in his room by himself with the door closed, listening to 'kidz bop 10' (yeah, i love the use of 'z,' in place of the 's', too. it's so very urban...). the last time i heard the phrase 'half-baked,' i was in high school, urging my crush to put down the bong while AC/DC's "back in black" roared in the background. a well ingrained fear of my parent's disappointment in me should i turn out 'bad' made me the 'good girl' who hung with the high school stoners of my day. i was so 'claire' to my crush's 'john bender.'
yeah....lame. and who am i kidding. i was so the epitome of allison, the alley sheedy character - minus the dandruff - it's scary. almost as scary as the fact i know the name of that breakfast club character.
before i could recall the lyrics to the classic tune 'givin' the dog a bone' from the above mentioned album, the acquaintence, noticing my blurry confusion, informed me that my son, at nine years of age and now half-baked, is officially at the halfway mark of escaping my clutches.
impossible. i just brought this child home with me. then i realize in the blur of his first haircut, new school years, lost teeth, the disappearance of the baby dimples on the back of his hands, a near religious love of 'star wars' and encouragement to pick up and try again, this chubby baby has turned into a lanky young man.
he won't admit to needing my help now. in nine more years, that really comes to an end.
we have this habit, my son and i. every morning, as he walks down the street toward the school bus, he turns around after every fifth step and waves goodbye to me. sometimes it's barely three steps. we started this routine on the first week of kindergarten and it continues to this day. yes, there are days this habit grates at me and my waves are really just hand signals urging him to go on.
but i'll miss it. and now i'm very cognizent of the fact that it will be over before i want it to be, and i have to figure out a way to slow down the baking process. if for only just a bit.
that, and well, give him some kind of appreciation for "back in black" that doesn't involve him begging some high school crush to pass it to him, already...