08 November 2010

I'm not ready yet

"You're a big boy now," a line we often say here at home,  as if our son has  never heard enough whenever he does something baby-ish. He asks to be spoon-fed, I say "No anak. 5-year-olds can eat on their own." He asks to be carried in the street, his dad says, "You're not a baby anymore." He insists on sleeping on our bed, we carry him back to his bed. He cries over small frustrations, we tell him to act like a big boy. The way I see it, he's taking these rather well. My papa once said in Ilokano, "Nanakem daytuy nga ubing." There's no exact translation for this, but in essence, it means that my son is mature for his age. He doesn't throw a tantrum whenever he doesn't get what he wants. It's not so hard to make him understand things.

Time and again, though, we let him indulge and be the baby that he once was.  I spoon feed him, Lakay would still carry him over his shoulders, and we let him sleep with us on weekends. The one thing we could not yet take away from him, though, is his bedtime ritual. One of us, and that means me most of the time, still has to sing him  lull-a-bye to sleep. That, and the cuddle he has enjoyed since I breast-fed him.

Tonight, he was strangely quiet while I sang to him. I took his hand, and put it around me, thinking that it would make him sleep sooner. I was surprised when he pulled his hand away. I asked him if there was anything wrong. He said, "Nothing."

"Then why won't you hug mum?"

He said, with a sad tone, "I'm a big boy now."

Those words broke me to pieces. I know I've said it a hundred times, but I didn't know that it would pierce through me if they came from him.
I almost objected, but stopped myself short. Confusion is the last thing he needed.

He turned his back and laid on his chest, as if to press down his hands on the bed to keep them from reaching out to mum. Then he asked for his stuffed animal, NEMO. I gave it to him, and watch him finally go to sleep.

When I told the story to Lakay, I found myself shedding a tear. All this time, we've been gently pushing him to grow and learn to spread his own wings.

I didn't realize that I was the one who wasn't ready for it yet. :(

1 comment:

Kei said...

Aww Ms. Lovelyn! I hope neither of you would give up hugging because he's growing up. :( I wouldn't know how to teach a little boy that either, but maybe in time both of you will learn to "grow up" together instead of "grow out" of each other.