Almost two weeks ago, this boy here went and turned 11.
Eleven! He looks a little smug about it, too, doesn't he?
Because I've been through this before, I am acutely aware that this means he will shortly be turning 12. And then, yes, 13. The years, they get sharply steeper after this one.
Whenever I look at him - not whenever I see him, but whenever I pause and truly look at him - I can feel it, that these are the last days of his free spirited, self unaware, soft-cheeked boyhood. The last grains of that sand are circling the neck of the hourglass.
It's easy to forget that he won't always be a little guy, because there is a part of him that still falls so unselfconsciously into that role. He's still, for now, this person here:
It's not that I'm dreading the teen years - they're good too. Sort of monstrous, but in a really, truly good way. But once this little boy is gone, he's gone. And as great as his young man self will be, I am enjoying this sweet, difficult, rowdy, prone to spilling, sweaty-headed little boy while I still have him.
But today we went on an errand that makes it even more difficult not to see the young man in him. We picked something up that he was very excited about (although I predict the joy won't last beyond...three days). From now on, this is the face I'll be seeing:
This boy, he has my heart. Go slow, son. Go slow.