Had to do a little shopping for clothes over the weekend. Not fun with a kid who hates to shop for clothes, but what can you do? Capri pants on a preteen boy is not a good look.
We attempted to purchase a few things at Old Navy, but wound up leaving with one pair of pajamas and one shirt. "The colors are too weird here."
I knew it was best we found things that he would actually wear, but my patience was running thin. My, "You don't see anything here that you like," sounded strained even to my ears.
We're entering uncharted territory on this adventure called parenthood. Gone are the days when I could bring home a shirt with the latest superhero from a movie or video game. We went through a stage where nothing with stripes could cross our threshold. That ruled out almost 99.4% of all boys shirts made on this planet. Rules also dictated that while PJ's could be irreverent and funny, shirts worn to school could not. For this, I am thankful. The thought of backing up a kid who feels he being unfairly treated by a teacher when he's known to wear a shirt that says My Sister Barfed on My Homework still strikes fear in my heart.
He's not into skater boy style, thank God. I have an unspoken rule against skulls on clothing, but he seems to have picked up on that and agrees with me. He's somewhere between skater boy and Ralph Lauren. No skulls, no sagging pants, and definitely no sweater vests or plaid shirts. I think his style could be titled "Don't notice me, no scratchy bits, plain-but-the-color-has-to-be-right, and comfortable."
So, that's what we went looking for. Nothing that could possibly be "made fun of" was purchased. Think middle school camouflage. Nor did we bring home anything that was uncomfortable or itchy. One striped shirt made it home, so that phase must be over. D commented that my poker face reaction to this purchase was Oscar worthy.
But, all of this, relatively boring, right? I mean, what mom doesn't go out shopping with their kid? What mom doesn't go through the style dictations of their twelve year old? What mom doesn't make the transition from being able to purchase clothes FOR her child to purchasing WITH her child?
We all do, but that's not what stopped me in my tracks this weekend.
What could possibly make me hide behind a clearance rack for a little longer than a bargain shopper usually does? What could have me contemplating wiping my tears with a polo shirt the size of a five year old?
We're leaving boys department. He's too big! And the difference between a boy's XL and a men's S is not that great. Mostly men's size small came home with us and he doesn't need to grow into them.
I had to have a moment in the boy's department. We're not completely saying goodbye. He still has a few inches to grow before he can fit into man pants, but I doubt that will take long. He's tall and skinny. He's my eye to eye guy now and will soon pass me up. I think he may be taller than his dad's six feet someday.
I sent Young One and D off to peruse the few toys and video games that the store carries just for this purpose. I know somewhere in a security office hidden away in the dismal depths of the store a security guard was muttering, "We have another one." I took a walk down memory lane. I wandered through the little boy section that bordered the big boy clothes. I stroked a little suit complete with bow tie and held up a sweat suit the size of my mom purse. I crossed the border into Baby Land and got weak in my knees near the Onesies.
The time goes by so quickly and most of it is lost in diaper changes, sleepless nights, play dates, permission slips, and school supply lists. And these moments, those that slam into your chest and have you gasping, are few, but potent.
Growing up is inevitable, so is growing older. I weave my aging throughout his growing and together, we're creating this tight bonded fabric of love. Schmaltzy, I know, but it's where I am right now. I'm standing back and standing with him. He needs me less, and more.
Bittersweet is the only word I can think of to describe this time in our lives. I love it and hate it all at the same time.
I got to hold a baby the other day and I was more than happy to hand him back to his mother. I wouldn't want to go back in time for anything. We're where we've grown together to be. But, I have a feeling, there are going to be lots of Mommy tears in my future.
Next time, I'll have Kleenex.