Our Julian is growing up. The picture above was taken when Julian was 6ish. He is now in 7th grade and playing on a middle school soccer team for Duke School! He is becoming his own man and thriving in this new season of life.
Where did the time go? I remember, when he was tiny, propping him up against the leaves, in the fall, by a tree near our townhouse, taking dozens of photos for our already thick photo album of him. “Wouldn’t the grandparents love to see these pictures”, I encouraged myself. I’d wrap him up in his sweet little hooded towel after his favorite time of day. I remember when this little guy and I would sit for hours reading picture books on the couch in our first home. We’d hop in our Blazer and head up to our local Carter’s store and shop for onesies, tiny socks and fleece hats. He’d cry when I left the room. He grew and grew and now…
He grew into a unique guy that loves to read. He is witty and comfortable in his own skin. He continues to grow and change and with that I gasp frequently. People use to tell me, when our kids were tiny (like infant, two, four and six), “They grow up fast, before you know it they will be off to college…,” I would smile and say, “I know it, I know it, I am trying to savor this.” I really had no clue and I truly thought at the current rate (days seemed extremely slow and weeks seemed to stand still as a stay-at-home mom), I would be just fine with the passing of time. Now, I stare at Julian and tell myself those very words… they grow up so fast. I fight back tears as I realize his littleness is over. My goodness, Julian is a 7th grader! He is often listening to pop music by artists such as One Direction and chomping at the bit to go out to play with neighbors. As I coach myself each day as I parent my first middle schooler, I lean into meaningful memories and try to remain thankful for now and the hope I have for his future.
He has coasted along in our family, being the lighthearted and creative third child. Yes, sometimes I think his head is in the clouds, but in a good way. He is the first to laugh, the first to find good in a situation. I remember noting when he was an infant that he had such big eyes that just looked right into me. I felt like he, even so small, wanted to see me for me and delighted in life.
He has always had this super sweet side that will just melt you. As evidence:
His fingernails have not been clean for as long as I can remember. He still loves nature, to dig and discover. He has always been our little creature explorer guy, hunting down critters and holding them in amazement.
He is now 8 years old and in the 3rd grade. He continues to be such a fun-loving guy. With his fearlessness, playfulness, humor and spontaneity he can be quite the companion. He, too, is playing soccer this season and I have pictured him below.
All of them …. then
As I go through the kids’ drawers removing clothes that are too small and preparing for this fall, I think of how many times I have done this. I smile as I look on our youngest that just lost his first tooth. I laugh out loud when I overhear and see our Kalen jamming to Queen’s We Will Rock You. I delight in my daughter’s success at baking a dozen vegan chocolate chip cookies totally independently. I try to be lighthearted as I give one more reminder to our oldest, who seems to need more and more follow up with his homework. I am thankful for the many seasons of motherhood and smile at the layers upon layers of memories I have of our kids growing up. Cheers to the next season.