Tonight as we played, the boys chased each other in circles around me, squealing with such unabashed delight. In that moment, I didn't see two babes. I saw one little boy, still wearing baby chub in his rounded cheeks; and I saw another little boy devoid of any signs tethering him to his babyhood. I called Spencer over to me so I could investigate this discovery, as I have been doing secretly for days. I pretended to sob and he squeezed his scrawny arms around my neck to comfort me. Then he turned to his brother, to include him in this game of mourning.
"Hashton," as he pronounces his brother's name, "is getting big, too."
So I stood Ashton in front of me in the same manner I did with his big brother and examined his growth. Although I saw enough babyness to placate my sadness, I played along and wept his growth as well. He, in turn, wrapped his arms around my neck hurriedly and then was off jetting around the room.
Tonight as I was putting Spencer to bed, I returned to the subject of his growth. He so very seriously asked me how he can stop growing, as if he really might consider it if I divulged the secret. But then he brushed off the notion and told me he wants to get big so he can go hunting with Daddy.
Spencer is at a tricky age--somewhere between little and big. I kind of think he should stay trapped here in this land of in between forever. I'm just not quite ready for him to take the leap of no return into Big Boy just yet. Maybe if I concentrate really hard, I can pretend his cheeks are still rounded with hints of babyness.
Daily I find myself wide-eyed, hand over my mouth, or snickering at the things that my kids say. I try to jot them down so I can document them, but some of them are lost for always. Here are the ones I managed to record.
Out of the Mouth of Spencer and Ashton, Edition 4.
The set-up: Breakfast one morning.
Spencer: What happens if we get dead?
Me: What does happen?
Spencer: We go to live with God.
Me: Yep, God's waiting for us in Heaven.
Spencer: What if God dies?
Me: He won't. He's already in Heaven. He's not a person. He's God.
Spencer: We don't want to get dead.
Me: Nope. Not yet.
Later the same day driving into town.
Spencer: What's no?
Me: That van just ran over a squirrel.
Spencer: Now it's going to go live with God?
Me: Yep, now it'll live with God in Heaven.
(He thinks about it.)
Spencer: How does he fix it?
Me: Huh? Fix it?
Spencer: How does God fix the squirrel?
Me: Um....he uses his special magic hands.
The set-up: Dave checking on why Ashton is whining in his crib at bedtime.
Ashton: I can't reach it.
Dave: Can't reach what?
(Dave notices Ashton's hand is stuck halfway down the opening of his feety pajamas.)
Ashton: My "enis." I miss it.
The set-up: Divvying up who is which Thomas the Train character.
Ashton: Ema-wee. I just called you Ema-wee.
Me: I know. I called you Thomas. Can I call you Tommy for short?
Ashton: No, I'm not short. (He laughs.) You're short, Ema-wee.
The set-up: I'm leaving to meet a friend.
Spencer: When Mommy's gone you're in charge, right, Daddy?
Dave: Yep, I sure am.
Spencer: But when Mommy's gone, who's in charge of you?
The set-up: Talking to Spencer about moving out, getting married and having babies.
Spencer: I'm gonna have a Georgia.
Me: A Georgia? Is that your wife or baby?
(The conversation continues for a while where Spencer proceeds to tell me he is going to have a baby in his tummy.)
Me: You can't have a baby in your tummy. Only mommies can.
Me: Because that's how God made us.
Spencer: But I want a baby.
Me: You can, but your wife will have it in her tummy.
Spencer: I want you to be my wife.
Me: I can't, Buddy. I already have a husband. You can only have one husband or wife.
Spencer: But I love you bestest.
Me: I love you bestest, too, but you have to find a different wife. You can marry Briella.
Spencer: No! She's not big!
The set-up: In the car Spencer keeps repeating what Ashton is saying to me, trying to be helpful.
Me: Spencer, I can hear Ashton.
Spencer: You're old. Old people can't hear. That's why I keep telling you what Hashton says.