In the Swoop of His Shoulder

by Ginger on March 1, 2012

in Mom Thoughts, The Kid

In the swoop of his shoulder, I see a glimpse into the future.

In the flourish of his gesture, I am transported to a distant, but too close, time.

In the way he cocks his head, in the angle of his leg crossed at the knee, in the way he sometimes sits, and even, occasionally, in the way he looks at me I see the march of time.

In the swoop of his shoulder, I see the man he could become.

Not the person…a glimpse of a body part doesn’t tell me if he’s going to be kind, or patient, or witty, or sarcastic, or good at math, or a bad driver. It doesn’t tell me if he’s going to be close to us, or if he’s going to push us away. It doesn’t tell me if he’s going to be happy. Would that it did.

But I see the physical outline of him. The ghost of time yet to come that shows me the hints of what he may someday grow into. The edges of the man he may someday fill out.

It catches me off guard. I turn around and where once sat my little man, I see a flash of this other man. He is familiar and yet absolutely unknown all at once.

It’s usually when he’s facing away from me, or when I catch him with his head turned, when there are no toddler grins or squishy cheeks to pull me back to the present. It makes my heart catch in my throat.

Not yet.

I’m not ready yet.

Don’t grow up yet.

Please, stay my little man longer.

It’s usually a FLASH

And then the ghost is gone, and my little man is back. The man-to-be has disappeared back into the someday, and the toddler is standing in front of me in all his toddler glory. He’s playing zoom cars and climbing the sofa, all squishy cheeks and unruly hair with a toddler belly and squeezable thighs. And I smile, and gather him in my arms, and laugh, and push the specter of the man-to-be back into the future.

Jocelyn | ScooterMarie March 1, 2012 at 9:39 am

Hauntingly beautiful. And so true. That man (or woman) will be here much too soon for all of us parents. 🙁 I love this.

Classic NYer March 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I know exactly what you mean. I used to be a nanny (although breifly) and it was interesting to look at the little tiny person and think “one day he’s not going to be little or tiny anymore…”

Shell Flower March 1, 2012 at 6:46 pm

Aw, this is really sweet. Save a copy for your boy. It’s good that you recognize how fleeting the young years are. My son just turned 17 and he still has those cute moments, but he’s such a DUDE now. Sometimes I see him sitting at the table or across the room and I’m like, who is this big dude eating my cereal? It’s a trip, but growing up also has its rewards. Still, enjoy your time with toddler boy, which it sounds like you are.

Christine @ Love, Life, Surf March 1, 2012 at 11:16 pm

I’ve been having this same feeling/realization/experience lately too with my 5 year old son. It catches me off guard how he’s growing up and becoming a kid, and isn’t a little boy anymore. I mean, he’s starting Kindergarten in the fall. What?? They are growing up way too quickly and I want them to stay cuddly and squishy forever.

Christa the BabbyMama March 2, 2012 at 10:47 am

At one time or another, I have experienced something similar with each of my brothers. Suddenly I could see them, for a brief moment, as adults. Oddly, it’s never happened with any of my sisters – nor yet with the P. I wonder if it’s just easier to see in boys…

Elizabeth March 4, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Oh, this is so beautiful. Sometimes it’s physically painful for me to imagine Hannah grown, but then she screeches or wails and I’m thrust back into the present!

Cheryl March 5, 2012 at 4:48 pm

*sigh* so beautifully written

kate March 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

just beautiful. the days fly by. this made me squeeze the girls a bit tighter tonight and hold them a bit longer at bedtime…

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