Suddenly, he is responsible, reliable, capable, and far too old to be caught dead getting kisses from his Mama. His favorite response to "I love you", "I missed you", or "Have a great day!" is..."Ok.". Doing anything with his baby brother in tow is suddenly "embarrassing". And he rebels against any and everything that might portray him to be a "baby" of any kind (going to bed before 8 PM, having to sit with his brother, holding my hand anywhere outside the house, etc.).
Nate is such an old man, too. He's curmudgeon-y, cranky, and loves to grumble. He'll be the first one to curse Mother Nature if it's too cold or snows too much. He even got mad at the school administrators once for "making young children stand out in the cold to wait for the bus". He loves to parent everyone (especially the dogs and his brother!). And rules are his best friends....stray from them at all and he's thrown for a loop and doesn't quite know how to cope. He tends to be a bit of a perfectionist and the slightest hurdle or bump in the road sends his self esteem into a tailspin. At eight, we're learning a lot about being more positive, handling stress with more grace, and utilizing some coping skills that he forgets all too quickly when things don't go his way.
I look back on pictures of Nate from years ago and can't help but feel a pang of sadness at how quickly he's growing up. I miss that blanket sniffing, crazy ensemble wearing, free spirit! But I am also ridiculously proud of the sweet, sensitive, smart, and responsible young man he is becoming.
Now, do me a favor, Nate....Slow DOWN!
Happy birthday, Bug-a-boo!