Today, you informed me blithely, is the first full day you are 9 all day. Because yesterday you weren’t 9 until o’dark thirty. But today is all 9, all the time. You told me this as you lolled about in a slightly too big but already beloved t-shirt, courtesy of one of the most brilliant people I know at work, and boxers, making your already long legs seem impossibly longer. Your hair’s a mess, and your glasses are slightly askew, and you’re still plugging along methodically assembling some of the legos you got yesterday.
Today, I ponder, is the first full day I’m halfway to not being utterly and totally responsible for you. 9 years from now, if you do something stupid, you’re an adult. If you want to sign legal paperwork, get a tattoo, sign up for the military, you can. 9 years from now you have to sign up for the draft. 9 years from now is 3 weeks, give or take, before you graduate from (oh please god) the Upper School, where you’ll wear a tux and the girls will be wearing white dresses, and your name will show up on the sign at the entrance announcing where you’re heading for college in the fall, where you’re fledging off to. 9 years from now is when we let you go, hovering in the background like a twitchy spotter but no longer holding on.
But this morning, as you clamber into my lap and give me a ‘3 day snuggle’ before I head out of town, you are 9. Wonderfully, cubically, comically, strangely 9.
I love you, little man.