Maverick is now at the age where he quietly listens to grown up conversations. He doesn’t jump up and down screaming. He doesn’t try to talk over us. He doesn’t interrupt every 5 seconds. He doesn’t pull on my leg and yell “MOMMY!” the whole time. He doesn’t throw tantrums.
He’s 7 now. I like 7.
My son is a joy.
It was hard getting to this place. It took years for me to learn how to be the mother that he needed. I didn’t understand what I was dealing with and I made a lot of mistakes, but we learned and failed and apologized — together. Because just like he needed to be taught self-control, I did too. And just like he needed to be taught to listen, so did I.
And now we’re here, just enjoying the feeling of not drowning.
Last weekend, I took Maverick with me to my parent’s house to see family that was visiting from out of town. We all talked for hours, forgetting he was there. He sat and listened intently, his big hazel eyes shining with interest. Every once in awhile I stopped and watched him, relishing how grown up he is.
My mom has cancer, and while discussing her treatment options with us she mentioned that she definitely would NOT be taking a particular kind of medication because it might make her, and I quote, “act like a squirrel.”
Me: “What do you mean, ACT LIKE A SQUIRREL?”
My mom: “It might make me think I’m a squirrel. Like I’d want to climb trees and hoard acorns.”
Me: “I … I don’t understand.”
(Pulls out phone to Google medication name + “squirrel-like behavior.”)
My mom: “I don’t understand it either, but all I know is that I will NOT be going that treatment route.”
My dad later explained that when the doctor mentioned to my mom that this treatment might make her act “squirrelly” he interpreted it to mean that it might make her crazy. The unpredictable, irreversible, no-cure-for-it kind. So maybe she might end up thinking she was a squirrel, but most likely it would either make her cancer-free, or crazy. She’s not willing to take any chances when it comes to her sanity, so she struck that option from the list.
I can’t say I blame her.
On the way home, Maverick asked a million questions from the backseat about Grandma becoming a squirrel.
Fast forward a few days and I find these sitting on the kitchen counter.
“I’m collecting acorns for Grandma,” Maverick said. “Just in case she goes squirrelly.”
The best thing about 7 is that this newfound grown up behavior is tempered by innocence and fun. I told him I’d start a collection bowl for the nuts he gathers during the day.
Just in case.