"Stop," my son keeps telling me.
I can't help it.
He fascinates me.
His body is morphing before my eyes, changing daily as his head goes from boyishly adorably to ... well, I assume eventually it will be manly handsome. His baby-smooth skin has been invaded by a dusting of dark hair above his upper lip and randomly placed pimples. His voice is squeaking toward new depths, and I am grateful that I have saved voice messages on my cell phone that preserve his sweet-boy sounds.
This week, thanks to a work-mandated furlough, I off work and playing stay-at-home mom. Rather than picking him up from THERE, driving him HERE, shoving him full of food, goading him to do homework, shower and off to bed ... I'm able to breathe a little and actual study this little man who has my eyes and my family's penchant for sarcasm.
I have been thinking a lot about what he was like when I really was a stay-at-home mom, for the first four years of his life, and he was discovering things for the first time, like girls being built different from boys.
"Mommy, where's your penis?!" my then-3-year-old asked as he and I squeezed into a bathroom stall at a shopping mall - you know, the kind where the tiniest whisper bounces along the tiled walls and floors. As I hovered above the seat, my toddler bent over to get a good look at my anatomy. "I don't have one," I answered quietly. "Girls don't have penises. Stand by the door."
"Oh," he said, looking disappointed, even a little sorry for me. "Maybe when you grow big, you will get one too."
"I don't want one, Adam," I told him. I mean, really, who does this little pipsqueak think he is? "Only boys have them, and I'm OK with that."
Now my innocent little boy is turning into an image-conscious young man who doesn't think I notice him looking at girls, who checks his hair in the mirror and who has just discovered the music of the Beatles.
I suppose I miss that little boy, but every age Adam turns becomes my new favorite age (except age 3, also known as The Age of Temper Tantrums). He becomes wittier, smarter and more fun to be around, even when he is being surly and difficult.