My little man turned eight a month ago, and I still can't wrap my head around it. For some reason eight feels big. Really not much has changed, well with the exception of a bit of attitude and a little questioning of authority...I mean mom really doesn't know everything does she. But somehow it all feels so different.
I watch him sleep at night, his long body almost filling the length of the bed, arms and legs splaying everywhere, I see the changes in his face, the changes that make him look more like a young man instead of my little man, but then I hear the pitter patter of his little feet on the stairs at 4am when he sneaks up to my bed to snuggle and I feel his heart beating next to mine when he reaches out to give me a hug and I know my little man is still in there. He is walking the line right now, on the edge of something new, and he is testing it, trying it on for size, but then stepping back to the safety and comfort of what he knows.
It's interesting to watch, and has me wondering why eight feels so big. Maybe eight feels so big because he seems to be changing so much these days. There is growth physically, emotionally, intellectually....it seems every day something is new or different about him. Or maybe it feels so big because he is starting to let go and find his independence. He is walking his edges, taking chances he wouldn't have taken just a few months ago. Or maybe it's that I feel like it is all going so darn fast and I just want to stop time and soak up extra moments with him. Whatever it is, eight feels big, really big.
So, when my eight year old sneaks into my bed in the early morning hours, I don't shoo him away, I pull the covers back and tell him to snuggle up, because one day soon he isn't going to sneak into my bed. And when he asks for just one more snuggle when he should be sleeping, I will walk right back into his room and snuggle him close, because one day soon he isn't going to ask anymore. And when he reaches out for a big hug, or asks me to hold him I will do exactly that, because one day soon he might not ask.
So yes, eight feels big, big in a way that makes my heart ache, big in a way I didn't imagine. My little man is growing up, in a big way, and all I can do is continue to enjoy the ride.