Friday, October 17, 2008

The First of Evan's Birthday Celebrations

Tonight two of Evan's best friends came over. They hung out at the house for a bit, and then we headed over to Village Point to take in the movie City of Ember. The two boys Evan invited are the NICEST young men. (Although it pains me to admit that they can truly be called young men!). So polite, and kind, and well mannered. It helped that I have known these two since they were in Kindergarten, and one was a former student, but I really enjoyed spending the evening with these three.

I know it is silly, but I was a nervous wreck about this event for weeks. I was nervous about the organization of the whole thing, interacting with the parents, and driving everyone to the right places. I guess it's an outcropping of working where Evan goes to school. The parents of these little guys are wonderful people, but when you start out your relationship in the teacher/parent manner, it is hard to switch over to the more equal footing of a parent to parent relationship. I've always felt slightly outside of the circle with other parents in Evan's grade. I don't think they feel completely at ease with me, and I guess the opposite is true as well.

Despite my crazy nervousness, it all went really well. Got to the theater in one piece, enjoyed what turned out to be a WONDERFUL movie, and got everyone back safely to their respective houses without getting lost (although I have to say this was due in part to the excellent directions of my passengers-playdates are so much more pleasant when your charges are old enough to help direct you!)

It was cute to see Charlie play the part of the jealous younger brother. He tried his darndest to break up the party by sneaking into Evan's room, and begged to get to "go in the car with big boys!" I have such clear memories of my own siblings trying to do this with me when I was little, and it was funny to see this replayed.

Underlying it all though is my complete disbelief that Evan will turn 10 on Monday. I know it sounds so cliche, but I really did blink and he turned from a baby to a young man. Although in many ways I know him as well as I know myself, there are moments lately when we are talking that I feel like I am getting to know a new friend. He is truly beginning to come into his own, with his own feelings, opinions, and thoughts on the world. Watching your child progress through the beginning stages of childhood is so exciting, but as we are starting to navigate through this pre-teen stage, I truly am amazed at the glimpses of grown-up Evan we are starting to see more and more often. It tears at my heart strings more than a little bit too, to see how much of an individual person he is, so separate from me. Young children feel like so much of an extension of you as a parent, that it is like a painful tearing to have them become their own person. It's the goal you work so hard to help them achieve, but at the same time, there is a selfish part of me that doesn't really want that to happen.

I sure wish someone would figure out a way to capture time so I could freeze moments like these with my kids. I love you Evan. And no matter how big and grown up you get, you are always going to be my baby. It's just exactly like the Robert Munsch book says, "I love you forever, I like you for always. As long as I'm living, my baby you'll be."

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