I knew this day would come. I really and truly did, but I thought I had more time. This is the cry of all parents, right?
Last month my son went to Camp Invention, a really cool STEM camp I blogged about last week. In addition to learning all about inventing, circuits, biomes and rockets, he also made some new friends. My son is fairly social kid. From the moment he could talk, he was making friends. I love that he’s not shy and that he sees every new kid he meets as a potential friend. In fact, it warms my heart that after just meeting another kid at the museum or the park, he immediately considers them friends. Of course, it does get awkward at times when he tries to invite his new friends over to our house for play dates and sleep overs. But still, I love his outgoing, friendly nature.
One of his new friends, was a young lady. Now, this is not really a surprise. My son has always had very close female friends. He’s just as willing to play tag or scour the woods for bugs as he is to pretend to be kittens and crawl around the floor. He’ll play with pretty much any toy you put in front of him and he likes anyone who is willing to be silly with him or who can talk seriously about Minecraft or Pokemon.
When I asked my son about their friendship, he was so excited. He gushed, “Mom, you’ll never believe it, we have so much in common!” I asked him about their commonalities and he told me, with utter amazement in his voice that she also loved Minecraft. He was also impressed that they both know what Pokemon is and have both played Mario Bros. He just kept repeating, “we have a lot in common. We just have everything in common.” Who can argue with that, right?
On the last day of camp, this new friend of his did something no other girl has done before though, she gave him her phone number. Well, actually, she gave me a folded up note, addressed to me (she addressed me as my son’s mom). Inside was her phone number. When I opened it, she asked me to promise I’d have my son call her the next day. I smiled, choking back a laugh because since I was also teaching at the camp, all the other teachers had pointed out how my son and this young lady had become joined at the hip. Since all the other teachers knew my son (the young lady is not from our school district), they thought it was quite cute.
I felt bad telling her that we were actually leaving for vacation the very next morning and that it would be at least a week before we got to call her. I felt even worse when we got home from vacation and I promptly forgot about calling. In all fairness, so did my son, but it was also a whirlwind week that included another car trip to see my mother and grandmother, a wedding, and me contracting some strange (and itchy) rash that made me a bit miserable. Also, there was a holiday thrown in the mix.
Once my son realized we hadn’t called her yet, he got desperate to dial. He was on the verge of tears until I promised we’d call her the next day after after our play date. But, much to my son’s dismay, it was the 4th of July and we had to leave a message. It was so funny listening to him leave his first real message. Not just for a girl, but for anyone. Neither of my kids talk on the phone much. They don’t have cell phones of their own, although my daughter, who is 7, asks when she can have one just about daily. My rule is not until middle school.
Thankfully, the young lady called back yesterday. When I answered the phone she asked if I was my son’s mom. Despite having me as a teacher for a week, she didn’t use my name. I wasn’t her former teacher, I was just my son’s mom. I said yes, called my son over and handed him the phone. They ended up talking for nearly 45 minutes. I didn’t hear the entire conversation, but it seemed that the bulk of it was about their favorite subject: Minecraft. As they hung up, she promised him she’d call him again today.
And she was true to her word. Today they talked for just over half an hour, mostly about Minecraft. His little sister was asking him questions while he talked, so he actually walked back to his bedroom so as not to be disturbed.
While I think it is great that my son has a new friend and I am not actually trying to ascribe any pseudo-romantic feelings to this friendship, it’s yet another reminder of how quickly he is growing up. Again, I know it is the typical parental lament, but it really doe seem like “just yesterday he was learning to talk,” and now he’s talking on the phone with a girl.
My son turned 10 in February and my husband and I have been talking about the talks we need to have with him. He’s going to start 5th grade in just a few weeks. Not only do we have to have “the talk” with him, but we also have to talk about Santa. I hate the idea of my little guy losing these little bits of innocence and wonder. While I love the young man I can see him slowly turning into, the transition process is speeding up and I am not sure I am ready for it.