Sunday, July 24, 2011

Still Fighting It

Henry lost his first tooth today. We realized it was loose about a month ago (when the dental hygienist pointed it out) but it was last week that Henry started wiggling it in earnest. He was standing in the neighbor girl's driveway, waiting for her to come and play, when it finally came out.

Henry says that he doesn't want to leave it for the tooth fairy, who he doesn't believe in anyway. He wants to keep it forever.

That's my boy. Holding on to what he can while things change all around him.

Last night as I lay down with Henry at bedtime he asked, "Mom, will you be sad when I'm grown up?" Before I could think of an appropriate answer (because YES! I will be sad), he burst into tears and told me that he doesn't want to grow up, not ever. He said, "There's no fun when you're grown up."

Good God, what have we been modeling for Henry? Of course there's fun. In fact, I like being an adult a helluva lot more than I liked being a kid. But I can't tell him that, either.

The other day I was remembering when Henry's first tooth came in -- possibly the tooth that I can now hold in my hand. He was up all night, fussing and unhappy, and I found the strength to comfort him even in my exhaustion. The next morning I saw that a tooth had popped through and I was grateful that I'd been so patient with him.

Now that tooth is gone, and my baby is growing up.

Edited to add:

The night after Henry's tooth came out he had one of his thrashing and crying episodes in the middle of the night. He was whimpering and finally he said that he wanted me to come lie next to him and he would tell me what was wrong.

With his head resting on my arm, he said, "Do you ever feel like you're not really you?"

The next morning I came across a video for a song Ben Folds wrote for his son, titled "Still Fighting It":

He sings:

Everybody knows
It hurts to grow up
And everybody does
It's so weird to be back here
Let me tell you what
The years go on and
We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

Oh, Henry. I am sorry. But also so, so proud.

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