All of a sudden he is the age I had been dreading - ten.


Double digits.

Pre-teen age.

A "tween."

A decade old, as he astutely pointed out. "I can't believe I've been alive for a decade," he said, more to himself than to us.

I can't believe it either. Gone are the days that he would sit under the end table in the living room and read a book. Gone are the days I could rock him to sleep in my arms. Gone are the stiff construction paper works of art bearing his hand prints.

They are replaced by video games and television shows about smart-mouthed tweens. A simple, "Good-night, Mom," and reading a chapter book under his covers with a flashlight. An hour or two of homework every night that we fight over.

It's girls coming over to our house to bring him birthday presents and take him out for frozen yogurt and the declaration that he will NOT be going to Daddy's alma mater for high school because "there are no girls there."

It's the scary downhill slide toward junior high and wondering how we he is going to handle it.

I am in the kitchen when I hear him laugh at one of his tween shows. I notice that his laugh sounds the same as it did when he was little - a broken giggle that goes on and on and on and makes you giggle in spite of yourself. It's infectious.

He still wants to hug us in church or hold our hands or sit on Daddy's lap while watching a movie, despite the fact that Daddy can no longer see over his head.

He's just as quirky as he's always been, yet he still doesn't care what anyone thinks.

He crawls in bed with us almost every night because he can't sleep - he's never been a good sleeper. Sometimes we kick him out and sometimes we cuddle.

He's ten.

Double digits, yet just a tween.

In between still needing us and beginning to not want us there.

Ten. It's just the beginning of it all.

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