Sunday, February 13, 2011
Last week, we were at the mall, doing some Valentine's errands. It was three o'clock on a Tuesday, and the mall was more or less deserted. I had finished my shopping, when on our way out, Jack spied a big trampoline/harness setup in the middle of the mall from where we were upstairs. He pointed excitedly and said, "I want to ride that!" My eyes widened in surprise. Jack is a very cautious child, and I would never guess in a million years he'd want to go flying up in the air in a harness, by himself no less. But I said, "Well, let's go downstairs and look at it and see," thinking that when he saw it up close, he'd change his mind or that they'd have some sort of height/weight requirement that his slim, 28-pound frame wouldn't meet. As we approached the apparatus, the guy running it eyed us curiously. I think he was afraid I, the big pregnant lady, was going to ask to ride it. When we got up to it, Jack was still excited and still wanted to do it. It was seven bucks for three minutes - total robbery, but I was so surprised and curious about Jack's lack of fear, I forked it over without a second thought. The guy said, "let's see if he likes it first," though before taking my money. To both of our amazement, Jack threw off his shoes, climbed up on the trampoline and enthusiastically raised his arms for the guy to strap the harness on him. Jack had a blast. He bounced and bounced. He was too light to get back down the the trampoline once the bungees were lifted to their full height, so the guy would periodically yank down on one side so Jack's feet would touch and he could bounce again. People all around stopped to watch. Everyone seemed surprised to see such a little kid strapped into the big thing. He closed his eyes and grinned ear-to-ear as he bounced almost as high as the second story of the mall.
Afterward, we put his shoes back on, thanked the guy, and headed to the car, Jack proclaiming the whole way that he wanted to come back to the mall and, "do it again-gin." I was in awe that my shy, careful, slow-to-warm-up child had so enthusiastically approached an unfamiliar experience. I was proud of him and glad to know he's developing a sense that new, strange things are not always to be feared but can be fun, even without Momma right there with him. I also thought to myself, "my little boy is growing up." I know he's only three, but the time goes faster and faster. I am so happy that he's developing healthy life coping skills, but I am also reminded to hang onto these young years, as they slip by all too quickly. Jack is becoming more and more independent. He goes to sleep at night by himself, he can go fetch things for me when I ask, and he happily goes to school by himself. Before long, he's going to be starting kindergarten, and then I'm going to turn around and he'll be dating.
This morning, I woke up early, around six, and couldn't go back to sleep. As it got light, I snuggled up to Jack's warm little body in our bed and watched him sleep - such a completely relaxed, peaceful rest. I'm glad our kiddo is growing more independent and sure of himself every day, but I'm going to get all the snuggling in while I can, before he gets too cool to hug his Momma.