Ten-year old boys are funny creatures, they are starting to grow up and become more independent, yet they are still such little boys. They insist on doing things for themselves, but they still ask for help on many occasions. They will walk around a store on their own, but will also quietly reach for your hand as you walk through the grocery with them. They will insist that they just want some time alone, but then ask for you to cuddle with them on the couch. They are starting to like things that are more grown up, but they continue to like and play with toys (and even though they will not admit it will play with their sister and her toys).
We never made it to the theater to watch Christopher Robin, and R.J. was relentless in asking if we could rent the movie through Amazon Prime. Little did he know that I had already purchased the movie for him as a Santa gift (Yes, he still believes, although this is certainly starting to waiver. However, I was able to get one more year out of him thanks to my old principal who is a Santa Claus. Dave knows all about our family, the animals, and the goings on at The Clem Compound since we are friends on Facebook. So, when he said something to the kids about me being from New York and the new shop we had just built, R.J.’s jaw dropped and we at least got one more year of magic out of him.)
Christmas morning was perfect, minus the small breakdown Lily had after my husband told her to leave her homeless bag (a pillowcase filled with her most loved items) upstairs. The kids decided that they wanted to open stockings first and then move on to their gifts. I know that there is much debate over how many gifts should be from Santa Claus, to wrap or not to wrap the gifts from S.C., and even if you should allow your children to believe in Santa (You can read my thoughts about believing in Santa Clause here...do what is best for you and your family, but please do not ruin it for my family.), but we believe, we have special wrapping paper for each kid, and they get more than just one gift. Do you like how I say ‘we’, when I am really the one who does all of the planning, purchacing, and wrapping?
After opening stockings the kids moved onto their gifts from Santa. R.J. was pleased that he had gotten the Nerf gun he had requested, and he and Lily were doing a nice job of opening their gifts one at a time. They both seemed to go for the couple of boxes that were the big ones, and unintentionally saved the smaller ones for the end. R.J picked up a small package (one that I knew was going to be his best gift of the day) from Santa Claus and slowly unwrapped it. He stood there for a few seconds, and when he turned to look at me there were tears in his eyes. He walked over, nestled his head into my shoulder, and gave me a huge hug. “I have wanted this movie for so long,” he quietly cried.
Tears immediately filled my eyes, and as I looked over at my husband I could detect that he too was moved by this moment. Once all the gift had been opened, and Shannon and I moved into the kitchen to prepare breakfast he looked at me and said, “Were you expecting that reaction?” “No, but I knew that he really wanted that movie; I just did not know that he wanted it that much.”
Oh, my sweet boy. These sweet, childhood moments will soon be coming to an end, and I am trying to savor each and every one of them. Each time that R.J. reaches across the couch to hold my hand while we watch a movie, whether it is Die Hard or Christopher Robin, I will hold on just a little longer. I will not be the first to let go, instead I will wait until he pulls his hand away. When he comes to me for a hug I will squeeze him a little tighter and a little longer. When we are walking in the store and he reaches for my hand I will make sure that I remember how it feels to hold his sweet hand. When he tells me he loves me, and that he loves me more, I will always tell him that I love him the most.
I look forward to the young man that he will become, because I know that he is going to make me so proud, but until then I am going to get the most out of what is left of his childhood.