a) thought I'd never have kids, and
b) said that if I ever did, I wanted them to pop out and immediately inflate to around 7 years old. I guess I've been so caught up in the whole 'raising babies/toddlers/preschoolers/etc' thing for the last 12 years that I forgot that dream. Now that my lastborn is hovering toward the last quarter of age 8 however, I totally remembered those silly fantasies, and I still absolutely agree with my pre-kid self.
Don't get me wrong - those early years are magical and sweet and glorious and all of that bullshit, but man is it ever nice to have a conversation with a kid.
Laying with Evie at bedtime and discussing the day, her dreams, other kids at school, geography, all sorts of other things... it's my favorite time of the day with her because that time is about she and I only - no brothers for her to nag, no pets for her to dress up. It's where I get the scoop on which girls in her class are casting the friendship net, how something she said was misinterpreted and how she resolved it, who didn't want to play but later did...can I just pause here for a moment and wonder at the amount of D R A M A in girls' lives? I mean, this kid is 8 and already her social life gives me a headache. I'd like to say things have changed from the time I was a kid, but there's a certain sparkly pencil incident I've never quite gotten over, so, I guess it's just an unavoidable childhood negotiation process.
Anyway, Evie is brilliant at articulating her thoughts and feelings...at bedtime. During the day she gets a bit more, erm, easily frustrated. So it's really lovely to have that time to just lay down, sing songs, snuggle, and dish.
Meanwhile Jonah has begun Middle School and seems to be grasping the most important basics. For example, the other day I quietly observed while he asked a girl out on behalf of his friend who was watching from behind a tree. It was magical. He also joined a Music Club where he can play his ukulele, and is considering joining the Salsa Club. As in, they eat salsa. If you know me at all you know that this is one of my all-time favorite foods, which Jonah is finally starting to get into. So yeah, we've got plenty of salsa-eating and discussing ahead of us, which has been a long time coming. You can't exactly give a baby a jalapeno and a knife and expect the proper results. Trust me on that one. Please.
There's more! For the first time in his whole life Jonah and I have a TV show we're both interested in at the same time! (Sorry Little Einstein. And My Little Pony. And that YouTube Minecraft guy).
We recently started watching Once Upon a Time together and, jeez! Who knew trying to solve fairy-tale related mysteries with your tweenaged son would be so damn fun! I watch very little TV so I generally miss out on the "I'm so obsessed with this show" crazes out there. I kind of get it now. Although if Jonah weren't my watching companion, I don't know if I'd take the time to sit down and watch it on my own, but that's what makes it so sweet. Me, my boy, our show. I'm totally digging it.*
It turns out pre-child Amanda was pretty smart.
Here is a somewhat random video of Jonah trying to sell some stuff. Sorry, that stuff is no longer available, but I think this video perfectly captures the...
In short: big kids are the best!
*We're only on Season One so please, as much as I want to know who the stranger on the motorcycle is, NO SPOILERS!!