Time becomes distorted once you become a parent, doesn't it? Sometimes a day can feel like a week. Other times, three years can go by in the blink of an eye. Every mother knows that contorted feeling of time expanding and contracting.
My son, who is counting down the days now until his ninth birthday. started talking this morning about which high school he'd like to attend. Where has my little boy gone? I found myself wondering. It seems only moments ago that he had just started his very first year of school. I have so many precious memories of that first year. And some silly ones too.
I remember one day when he came home from school, I was thinking to myself that I hadn't really asked him enough questions about his new classmates. I wanted to know more about them and I wanted him to know I was interested as well. I knew that he had an enormous six-year-old crush on one of the little girls in his class, but other than that, I new very little. As he was doing a colouring in, I struck up a little conversation:
"Who's the nicest person in your class?" I asked him.
"Mariana", he replied.
"I thought the girl you liked was called Costanza", I said.
"She's the prettiest, not the nicest", he said matter-of-factly.
Oh dear, I thought, why can't he have a crush on the nice girl?
"And who's the naughtiest in the class?" I tried again.
"Probably me", he said flatly.
Right. Points for honesty, I suppose.
I thought I'd give this mother-and-son bonding conversation one last try; ask something nice and simple that would surely have an answer that could not bother me in any way.
"Who's the tallest in the class?" I inquired.
He looked up from his colouring in and gave me a look that said perhaps you need to go back to the first grade yourself, mum.
"The teacher", he replied.