Motherhood is filled with endless stages...sitting, crawling, walking, talking, etc. Typical kids seem to enter each one seamlessly and without much trepidation. But, with Noah, Steve and I have had to practically drag him through each one. I remember the first time Noah stood alone. The moment I clapped and squealed excitedly, he immediately sat down and wailed. It was nearly three months before he would try again, yet when he did he didn't just stand, he walked then ran across the room. Noah requires lots and lots of assurance. He does not like to attempt something new unless he is 110% sure he can be successful doing it. Noah thrives on routines and change of any kind causes him serious anxiety. When he was five turning six he hated the idea of having a birthday and becoming a different age. He wanted to stay the same. I can understand that. I wish I could stay right where I am, too...or at least that my body and mind could, anyway. Which is why puberty and the emotional changes that go with it have really thrown me for a loop. You won't find me coaxing or dragging Noah along...it's more likely I'm the one who will try to dig my heels in, hoping against hope that time would slow down already.
Noah: "Mom, you know Julianne?"
Me: "From school? Yes."
Noah: "I like her.
Me: (heart pounding..oh boy, I'm not ready for this) "You do."
Noah: "Yeah. Last night I had a dream. She was in it.
Me: "You had a dream? You always told me you never dream."
Noah: "I know, but I did.
Me: (Dear Lord)
Noah: "I wanted to dance with her, but first we needed to find a disco ball and..."
Me: (lalalalalalala) "I see."
Later that evening
Noah: "Mom, I think I'm in love."
Me: "Did you see Julianne at school?"
Me: Did you talk to her?
Me: "Ok, just a suggestion
Noah: "I want to write to her."
Me: "Ok, do you need help?"
Noah: "No! I can...I can do it. I'm a big kid"
Me: (wow...this must be some crush because I think if given a choice he'd rather hang upside by his toenails than do any sort of handwriting.)
Behind his closed door I can hear him becoming more and more frustrated with himself. I knock and pop my head in. I notice he's started a sentence, but most of the letters are backwards and nearly illegible. My stomach lurches.
Noah: "I'm so stupid!"
Me: "That is definitely not true."
Noah: "But I want to do it."
Me: "Ok, what if I write it for you and you just tell me what to write."
Noah: "No!" (clearly his thoughts are for her eyes only. My heart aches)
Me: "What if I set you up on the computer?"
(After setting him up...he then becomes stuck with what to write after I heart U.)
I tilt my head toward Steve and notice he is sitting in the club chair, seemingly engrossed in a junk mail flyer; while Natalie is doing her best to blend in with the couch. Feeling my stink eye upon him, Steve volleys back with a raised brow and a smirk. As he rises from his seat he asks Natalie if she can show him her rock collection again.
Noah: "I'm just so nervous! I don't know what to say."
Me: "Hmm...maybe start with what kind of music do you like...are you sure you want to lead with I heart u?"
Noah: "It's just...I'm putting my heart out there. What if she doesn't like me?"
Me: (Oh dear...and I thought potty training was hard.)
I did my best to redirect him to the task at hand. After coming up with several questions - he felt confident enough to finish it and gave it to her (via her best friend).
Monday morning at drop off, Noah recognized Julianne's parent's car ahead of us.
Noah: "There's Julianne."
Me: (in my head I'm thinking he needs talking points quick) "I see...you could ask her about her weekend... do you need help remembering? You hung out with Evan and went to the park and.."
Noah: (He raised his hand for me to stop) "Mom, I don't want to do that."
As he stepped out of our car he turned, gave me a side glance and said, "I work alone."