As I waged the “going to sleep” battle with my five-year old, I gave-in as usual and allowed him to stay up just five minutes longer (who am I kidding, it was like a ½ hour). He curled up on the couch with me, snuggled in and said “I’m little and going to sleep on my big mommy”. As quickly as he said it, he said “I, I, I mean, you are older than me”. I then said to the little guy as reassuring and as quickly as I could “I know I know what you meant”. Then I just held him and kissed him as tight as I could until he fell asleep.
Once asleep I put him in his bed, tucked him in, kissed his head and headed back to the couch and cried like a baby. I didn’t cry because I have more rolls than a bakery. I didn’t cry because I thought my son thought I had more rolls than a bakery. I cried because my son is aware of my insecurities about my weight. I cried because I try so hard not to make it an issue, and yet, he’s smart enough to pick up on the little subtleties: watching Biggest Loser, the phone calls with my any one of his aunts (or anyone who will listen, I mean I’ve been singing this same tune for quite some time) discussing our weight loss journeys, the reason why I’m in Health Magazine, my many scale hops, and all those pesky trips to the gym to go into combat. I cried because a little bit of his innocence is lost – he knows the difference between being big and small – in every aspect older/ younger and who has a big ass and who doesn’t. I know in my heart that when he spoke to me earlier this evening that he meant older and younger – a mom’s knows, I could hear it in his voice; it was the fact that he had to explain himself to me, the fragile weight conscious mom that really struck a nerve, a greasy diner french fry drenched in mozzarella cheese coated in delicious brown gravy fat fucking nerve. Damn it!!
To be so cliché’ I will throw out the phrase: “They grow up so fast”. I never understood what that meant until this very moment. I knew that once he entered kindergarten all bets were off. I knew he would be exposed to new, different and exciting ideas. I knew kindergarten would tarnish him, that seedy world of alphabet people, finger-paint, and those pesky coloring assignments would strip away at his innocence and soon he’d be swearing like a sailor, (okay so that’s probably me), envying other kids t-shirts and sneakers and resort to selling those banned snacks (starbursts, m&m’s, and oh my, that 100% fruit juice) on the street corners for extra money so he could dress like the cool kids.
I wish I could keep him sheltered on some of the injustices in this world like: prejudice against anyone really: color, sex, creed, weight, and anything else for that freaking matter, got a tongue ring, tats, blue hair – go for it, it’s all good! It’s none of my business, and it shouldn’t be anyone else’s. As parents it’s our job to teach our children from right and wrong, good, bad, and be the respectful, law-abiding individuals to get through life relatively happy – because people, there’s always therapy to undo all the crazy I impose on my children. Currently hubby and I are teaching our children too: drop the f-bomb, bite his brothers ass, fart on anyone whenever they get a chance (I swear that’s his dad), burp, cry till they get what they want, whiz into the toilet not around it, play nice in the school-yard, and umm… laugh hysterically at any poop humor (sadly from both of us) that is mentioned. To say we have to work on a few things is really not saying enough.
My children are not as sheltered as I was. I am a Catholic (now turned Lutheran) girl who didn’t kiss a boy until she was in the 9th grade at which point when my “boyfriend” rammed his tongue down my throat I was so freaking caught off guard, our teeth clashed and I swear I swallowed his tooth. Later that day, my friends convinced me to dump him. I gotta tell ya – I was so freaking relieved and I didn’t get kissed for another five years. I couldn’t have been happier.
That’s what I want from my kids, I want them to be sheltered, I don’t want them coming home with secret girlfriends especially those named Sara ( whom he told me was his girlfriend while taking bath, umm, yeah, next he’ll start locking the door (too soon for that)) and proclaiming that he has an archenemy. Archenemy really? At five? Who is he Batman? I want my kids to have some friends, break some rules but not enough that they hurt themselves or anyone else. I want to shelter my little buggers as much as possible. There is enough time for them to figure out on their own about this the cruel cruel world that we live in, and that getting married at five to some little skank is not really appropriate behavior. And on that note, Mom is going to learn how to take her weight phobias and the f word out of her conversational rotation.