It’s amazing to think that I can use a piece of topography to gauge the development of my son.
But I can.
It’s not a majestic mountain, nor a lush valley or any of the usual marks on a map that take your breath away and engrave themselves on your mind’s eye. It’s just simple beach spot where we hang and rub sand in our eyes and my bikini top falls down revealing my boobs as I jump under the waves.
Unremarkable unless you’re listening to the howl of someone else’s kid with sandy eyes or a fish that copped an eyeful of nipple.
Last summer we spent a lot of time at this little part of one of our local beaches 10 minutes from my house.
That summer now gone D Man was a very timid paddler whose fear of deep water and putting his face under was intense. He was a cautious rock climber, a mild builder of sand structures who immensely enjoyed destroying of other people’s castles.
Jerk. No respect for my sand construction creativity.
I was just sitting back and watching him here and I had one of those flashes where you see how they are growing up and changing in front of your eyes and I could almost count the minutes before he would be sprouting fur on his face, and getting stinkier, and grunting at me and all the cliche stuff you hear about teenage men folk.
I saw how sure his feet were when he climbed. How fearless he was. He was chatting away instead of concentrating fully and his snake hips swayed to keep his balance unlike the windmill arms of days gone by.
He is by no means a porpoise in the water. We have a long way to go to get him completely over his Fear Aquatic, but now he’ll go in to his chest, blow bubbles whilst putting his whole face under.
This is mega for us.
He was never a super rough and tumble boy, more sensitive, and thoughtful. He was never every man’s friend instead tentative where he lay his affections and he still is sparing with his affection to anyone other than his father and I…. for us it’s waterfalls of cuddles and climbing and kisses and ‘I love you’s, but everyone else can mostly take a hike.
I see him getting braver. His conversation getting more involved, his humour more delightful.
I’ve noticed him growing up this summer and when I look at that kid at the right time of day (i.e. when he’s not testing his boundaries or pushing my buttons, and making me flip out and lose my shit) I just about damn near burst because he’s such a little dude.
My little dude.