It is Young J’s tenth birthday today. This means I’ve been at this mothering thing for ten years. I realized yesterday that this means Young J is my employer of longest standing. I spent nearly a decade at my last job, but I left two months shy of the actual anniversary. That I have managed to hang on to the Mom role this long is primarily owing to the fact that children don’t give performance reviews in the way traditional employers do. And unlike certain reality TV show stars, they don’t point toward the door growling, YOU’RE FIRED!
I went fishing on Flickr for today’s image, and as always I started with a keyword search. I’ll reveal my hand and say that today’s word was “beam.” I was thinking of a beam of light, which is how I see Young J — he shines when the world around is so very dark and cold. And instead, I got many pictures of buildings and structures made of beams. Of course I did. Because something that motivates Young J, at his very core, is seeing how things are made. How things are built, propelled, controlled, sped up, slowed down. He loves structure(s), and sometimes I feel like we let him down, because we aren’t the most structured parents in the world, J and I. We’re trying, though. Young J is the first to appreciate the home improvement efforts we make, even if they are a long time coming. I have a feeling his home as an adult will be quite different than ours. That’s because for years now, in every building medium available and also on paper with pens, he has created plans for his dream home. All of the comforts of home are there, but the key difference is, there are many more screens and devices available to him in his fantasy home than he is allowed to have in his actual home. (He will surely have many nice discussions with his therapist about this in adulthood.)
I can’t wait to have dinner at Young J’s first home. Maybe he’ll make us chicken cutlets (he’s pretty close to knowing how to manage it on his own).