Friday, February 1, 2008

The Evolution of a Red Satin Cape (And Happy 8th Birthday, Branson!)



My seven-year-old is precious.
PRECIOUS.
The only thing is, he's seven for just a few more hours. Monday he turns eight.
Like most parents, I'm incredulous as to how it's possible that my baby is growing up to be a young man right before my eyes.
He was just born!
Yet the evidence presents itself all around me, undeniable proof that he's maturing and growing up.
Last night a good friend we haven't seen in a few months nearly passed out when Branson entered the room, she couldn't believe how tall and "grown up" he looked. She even took a picture of him to show her husband, and said she wouldn't have recognized him without me there.
Even our home substantiates Branson's gradual exodus from little boy-hood.
The shirts in Bran's closet are sliding off his "kid-size" plastic hangars, and I'm slowly replacing them with larger ones from mine and Corbin's closets.
I cleaned out the play room before Christmas, clearing out old toys and making room for the new ones to come. But by about mid-January it hit me that we weren't actually replacing the once-overflowing bins with new toys. Practically everything the boys received were designated to their Nintendo bags, a media cabinet drawer, or the growing pile of sports gear in the garage.
If you were to visit our home, you'd find Esther dragging around her red satin blankie with a few inches of velcro running down two seams. Satin is her thing, and she's attached to that blanket. Only it's original purpose was a red Superman cape. I made it for two-year-old Branson when he wore ONLY superhero costumes. (Anyone remember this? Our church nursery workers assured me it was perfectly normal for him to show up as Spiderman, Batman or even Captain America week in and week out...)
Esther wore a green "Soccer" hoodie all day today that belonged to Bran when he was a baby. I don't even remember seeing it on Hudson and Basden, yet I know they wore it. Somehow the years are passing more quickly and blurring together in the process.
Last week during our respite from "life" and school with everyone sick, Bran and I spent about three hours on the back deck completing his make-up work. It was one of my favorite few hours of my entire week. I enjoyed listening to him rattle off spelling words and whiz through math worksheets, even though the week and half off of school definitely took a toll on his mental readiness. After writing about 20 adverb-filled sentences and preparing to write 20 more (Stephen King would absolutely die seeing all those -ly words), I asked Branson if he felt like this work was too difficult.
He looked at me, rolled his eyes, and said, "uhh, PIE."
"Huh?"
"You know, Mom. EASY AS..."
What in the world?!
Most of the phrases I hear from Bran and Hud are simply 30-year old renditions of things my brothers and I said to each other at his age - nothing new under the sun. But "Pie" was a new one to me. And I laughed so hard I could hardly catch my breath.
I am so enjoying watching Branson's personality bloom as he matures. Of course it's bittersweet observing these changes, but it does keep life interesting. I'm already wondering what the red satin blankie will morph into next... perhaps a "something old" treasure for Branson's wife to carry down the aisle? Ok, ok, perhaps I'm getting a little ahead of myself...

Well, happy happy birthday to my nearly eight-year-old boy.
Our home is vibrant and alive and beautiful with you in it. I am so, so grateful and honored to be your Mommy.
I love you, Bran!