Saturday, February 7, 2009

He forgot he grew up

Around our house these days life seems to have developed a pattern: Tim lopes around listening to music on his Ipod, doing things on the computer, or watching crime reality TV. Jeffrey spends most of his time pestering Tim, complaining about Tim, and whining.

This week Tim has been sick with a cold and the computer was at the shop getting the hard drive replaced after he crashed it when "trying out a new operating system." Today I couldn't stand the TV shows he was watching so I ordered him to find something else to do and he went downstairs to play his drums. Jeffrey tagged along after him and I got to work on the Laundry. After the drum music stopped they stayed down there for quite a while and when I eventually went down to see what they were up to, I found them immersed in play with their GI-Joe sized guys, just like they used to do. I hurried away because I didn't want to disturb them.

Later in the day I was out shopping with Jeffrey and we were talking about setting up some things in the basement for a Destination Imagination meeting tomorrow. I suggested that we gather up some supplies such as scissors when we got home.

"I already did some of that" Jeff said.

"Oh, is that when you were downstairs with Tim?" I asked.

"No, it was before that. Today he was tired so he forgot that he grew up and played guys with me." Jeffrey replied.

I almost didn't catch what he meant, and then it sank in. "So you had fun playing with your brother today?"

"Yeah, it was good."

It was then I realized why Jeffrey has been having such a difficult time lately. I hadn't thought about what it would be like to have your lifetime perfect playmate very suddenly become two feet taller than you, with a whole new different deep voice, and all new interests that don't include you. Jeffrey has been missing the old Timmy and wanting him to come back. And he did that day, if just for a little while.

Sometimes I miss the little boy Timmy too. And the babies and toddlers that they both once were. That is the heartbreak of parenting. Right along with the excitement of watching them go on to each new phase comes the twang of regret of loss for the one they are leaving behind. I cherish the little-boy sweetness of Jeffrey all the more knowing as I do now that those days are numbered as well.

I'm glad that Tim could "forget that he grew up" if just for an afternoon of playing with his little brother. It probably feels good to forget you grew up for just a little while. I think I'd like to try it sometime.


Anonymous said...

This one was a tearjerker for me. Terrific. I might copy it for a photo album. love, Aunt Chris
ps- Too bad it can't get published. Tim wouldn't want ANYONE to learn of the temporary regression, and that might go for Jeff, too.

Heather Leigh said...

very cute story, Mindy!!

Nancy USA said...

Mindy, this is a WONDERFUL posting!

You captured it so well! It's a moment in time you will always remember. And someday, you'll share it with your boys in a way that will touch them again.

I tell my son (now 500 miles north at his first full-time job after graduation): I miss you. But I miss you the baby. I miss you the little boy. I miss all of you! but also enjoy you as you experience a wonderful time in your young man's life!

(This does make me want to watch Peter Pan!)

Nancy USA said...

Mindy, Tell Tim THANKS from us!
Today we went to Best Buy and bought a 500GB external hard drive!! We have put this off too long!

My husband "Googled" how to use it and one man had written: "it is for when your teenager deletes your files to make more room for his downloaded music and games!" hahah

Best Buy: $99

A great price!

Thought I would let you know!

Mindy said...

Nancy, I'm glad that some good came out of our computer crash issue! Tim was feeling kind of bad about it and I told him the "Story of Julian." Inspiration to go from kid messing around on the computer to successful employed college graduate.

We had recently bought an external drive (but not that good of a deal)but I haven't gotten into the habit of backing up every time I download pictures from my camera. Now I will. Plus now we have TWO hard drives, the corrupted one and the new one. We're still sorting it all out. Crazy kids!

Aunt Kathy said...

Outstanding story Mindy! There's a little child in all of us, and it's good for your health to let him or her out once in a while!