My Eldest, who is 4 years old and prefers his age to be announced as, 4 and a half, has always focused on getting older.
As a baby we would travel with his beloved soft toys, Tigger, Doggie and Tom, (from Beatrix Potter). They went to the UK with us when he was just 6 months old and traveled again when we took Eldest overseas for a month to the UK and Germany. They have been his constant companions and during times of illness and storms they generally would accompany him into our bed, so I had grown to love them too. As he got older, he decided to add to his 3 ‘friends’ and soon I was muttering under my breath every morning while making his bed and arranging said 20+ ‘friends’ on his pillows. Going on holiday was a logistical nightmare as we had to decide who could come with him and who would have to stay behind on his bed to ‘look after his room’ while he was away.
Eldest started Grade 00 last week, this means he and the rest of his Grade 00 mates are the oldest in the pre-school section of the school and he is very excited that he is growing up. On the night of his first day of school I went to tuck him in and was horrified to find that all his soft toy ‘friends’, including those that accompanied us around the world, lying in a pile at the foot of his bed! I felt quite sad staring at the multi-coloured fluffy mass on the floor remembering how he used to speak to them before going to sleep at night.
When I asked him why his friends were not allowed on the bed he replied;
“Because I’m a bigger boy now Mommy, and bigger boys don’t sleep with friends anymore.”
I kissed him on his forehead and walked out with a heavy heart, I believe I was experiencing a growing pain of my own. My little boy was growing up.
Before going to sleep last night Eldest started telling me that he could save the world and that we didn’t need silly ‘Policeman’s’ anymore. I went in to check on him later before I went to bed and I found something sticking out from under his pillow. It was a black cape and I understood.
I closed his bedroom door behind me with a smile on my face, my little ‘Superhero’s’ imagination was still alive and well.