It's October which means, for all intents and purposes, it's Halloween. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas -- this is the time of year where the days blur together into a festive mess of decorations and Pinterest projects. Lately I've been going to bed wondering how it's possible to be any busier than we already are but I know what's coming. I know what lays ahead in the coming days and weeks. It's a good kind of chaos.
Ethan is four. Almost four and a half. This is the first Halloween he's had an opinion over his Halloween costume and he refuses to go to bed at night without checking in on the progress. He is part control freak, part worrier; part anxious, part perfectionist. I see so much of my personality in him especially the older he gets. His mind never seems to shut off and, for that reason, our conversations are entertaining and exhausting and inspiring all at once. He is stubborn, selfless, warm. He has seemed so much more like a real boy lately as opposed to a baby or a toddler and I'm left wondering when that all happened.
We've made the decision to redshirt Ethan academically, meaning he hasn't joined his similarly aged peers in VPK this year. Instead, he will begin a part-time pre-K program next year, when he "should" be beginning Kindergarten. We've found a wonderful homeschool co-op to join and it's been a fantastic experience for Ethan so far. He and I are both loving these days of continued adventure and play and childhood.
At four, Ethan is bigger than most children his age. With the territory comes the remarks from strangers: "he's so big!" "Are you sure he's only 4?" "He's so grown up for 4!" Ethan has decided to become anxious about growing up. With the anxiety came a week long sleep and vegetable eating strike, in an attempt to halt any potential growth. "I don't want to eat vegetables. I don't want to sleep. I don't want to get big and tall. I just want to be a kid!"
I have promised him his childhood. I have promised him that his childhood belongs to him and that he is, and will continue to be, a child because it's simply not time to grow up yet. I am grateful for the attachment and relationship and adventure chasing that we get to share.
It seems to be what we both need.