Every Friday my son Sean and I skip breakfast at home and stop at a coffee shop on the way to school. At first we started out just stopping by to get a coffee for me, muffin for him on days when I was running late. He always is game for a random, unplanned muffin treat, but recently he asked that we pick one day a week that we would definitely stop, and so now we go every Friday. He likes to stick to a plan, and I am always willing to comply.
It is our time together. I know this is special. He is seven years old and I am still allowed to hold his hand as we walk into the coffee shop. Like every Friday, the same cute old men are sitting down having a quiet conversation with newspapers strewn about their table. One of them gives me a knowing smile and I smile back.
Sean takes a moment to peruse the bountiful display of fifteen types of muffins with wide-eyed wonder, and picks the same one every time, apple cinnamon. We order chocolate milk for him and coffee for me. We sit down at our usual spot, a bar high table by the window, Sean seems to prefer the higher seats.
As I watch him eat the top crusty portion off of his muffin, careful not to bite to deep into the muffin center, a group of high school kids sit down next to us. The girl proudly announces to the two boys with her that she is skipping her first class. I can’t help but stare. It’s like a scene out of one of those after school cautionary tale movies. I saw these teenagers walking from the high school up the road on our way to get breakfast. I feel sad and a bit disturbed as I watch this attractive girl overtly flirting with the larger of the two boys, patting his thigh suggestively, while the smaller boy doesn’t seem to notice or care.
It’s hard for me not to stop looking, but I focus my attention back on Sean chomping away at the top of his muffin. My little innocent son sitting here wearing seersucker shorts, a red polo shirt, and white cable zip-up sweater, beach blonde hair and gorgeous blue eyes. I can’t help but shudder to wonder about Sean as a teenager, no longer sweet to his mommy, no longer calling me mommy.
Every one always says how quickly children grow up. Before you know it, they are grown and out of the house, I am often told. I wonder if time passes at a faster pace because of how dramatic kids change within just one year of their precious lives. Sean has certainly changed a lot this year. He started out in September with a round face and legs that didn’t seem to want to grow. Now it’s the end of the school year and his face is more defined with cheekbones and a longer chin. His legs have sprouted several inches and his knees are extra knobby. The change was literally right before my very eyes and yet it’s a surprise to see the results of his growth.
I check my watch; it’s time to go. Sean hands me his chocolate milk so he doesn’t spill it as he jumps down off of the chair. I grab his hand as we walk past the teenagers, give my old gentleman friend a smile and walk out the door. I can’t wait for our daily chat on the way to school. He is full of curiosity about the world.
For all those wise, older parents, in case you are wondering, the answer is yes; I am enjoying every moment.