I cannot keep up with my son's rate of growth.
He's twelve years old, and already looks like a teenager, all arms, legs, and lankiness. Yesterday morning, while getting ready for school, he came to me and said, "Mom, I'm out of socks."
"Look in your drawer," I said while finishing up lunches, "I know there were four pair in there two days ago."
"There are no socks in my drawer, Mom, I looked!" he insisted.
Grumbling to myself, I went to check and sure enough, lots of underwear, no socks. So, I headed for my bedroom and the Sock Basket.
In case you're wondering, the Sock Basket is a small laundry basket where we toss all the socks with missing partners. Sometimes, the missing socks turn up buried in the furniture, hidden under the bookcases or, even more surprisingly, on the shelves of the bookcases. I have found socks where you expect, jammed into shoes or hidden under beds or the kitchen table. And I have found socks where you don't expect, like... in a box of music CDs, or on top of the XBox. And I've found them where you shouldn't expect to, like... between the pages of a book? Really??? Stuffed into one of the drawers of the china cabinet? Seriously, guys?? What possible reason would any of you have for stuffing your dirty smelly socks in there???
It's moments like those that I realize my children are strange, strange people. But I love them anyway.
So, I went to the sock basket, figuring I could at least give the Impossible Son a mis-matched pair of socks, which seems to be all the rage among the teenagers of our small town anyway. No, really. They buy pairs of wildly colored or striped or spotted or patterned socks and deliberately mix them up, and wear the resulting mis-matched pairs. I was dubious at first because, hey, grownup here, raised by parents who kept all our clothes strictly matched and handed down ironclad rules of dressing:
1. "No plaids and stripes shall be worn at the same time!!"
2. "White shoes shall not be worn before Memorial Day nor after Labor Day, unless you are in the Navy and serving in Florida or the Tropics, and you, Young Lady, are not in the Navy!"
3. "Sandals will not be worn before May, nor after September, I don't care if it's December 25th and it's 90 degrees F and we live in Texas. It's just Not Done."
4. "All socks shall be matched and be the same color, and they shall be a color the same as or complimentary to the outfit you are wearing. And if no matching socks are clean, you shall wear sandals, unless it's before May or after September, in which case, you are Out Of Luck."
However, I got over it, and have seen the mismatched sock thing as a good way to empty out the Sock Basket. So getting into the spirit of it, I found a mismatched pair for the Impossible Son and handed them over.
Ten seconds later, "Mom... they're too small."
"What do you mean? We just got you those socks."
I looked down. Now, these are what my kids call "footie" socks. They're the short little socks that barely show over the top of your sneakers, and my son is particularly fond of them. The sock should come up over the top of his foot and up the back of his heel. But it doesn't. It doesn't come up over his heel. It's too short.
Jaw dropping, I grab another pair of large socks and hand them over. These are supposed to come up to the ankle. Except... they don't come up over his heel, either. So... I grabbed a pair of the Husbandly One's socks, a mismatched pair as well, and they fit. Kind of.
"How does Papa stand these?" the Impossible Son asks conversationally as he tilts his feet side to side, peering at them dubiously.
"He loves them," I said, putting the other socks back in the basket. "He says they're very comfortable."
"They're kind of tight around the top," and I look down and sure enough, I see red lines pressing into his skin where the socks end.
I stare at him. "Honey," I said slowly, "I can't give you any of my socks, because my feet are much smaller than yours. And I can't give you any of your sister's socks, because her feet are smaller than mine!"
"I know," he said miserably. "I'll... just wear these."
I had just bought my son socks. And he had outgrown them in less than two weeks.
*pauses to hyperventilate*
You know, I thought I was prepared for this. I thought, because I've already been through the teenaged thing with the Impertinent Daughter, that I at least had an idea of what to expect. And it sank in.
This... is going to be totally different. Teenaged boys have a completely different growth rate than girls. I knew this intellectually, of course. But I was basically being slapped upside the head with it.
When the Impertinent Daughter started her growth spurts, she outgrew a brand new pair of shoes in less than an hour. They had fit just fine in the store, had plenty of wiggle room, and were comfortable. We put the shoes back in the box, took them to the cash register, bought them, and went home. She took the shoes out of the box, put them on, took three steps and cried out, "They're too tight!!"
Understand, she's still wearing the same socks she'd worn to try the shoes on.
I knelt in front of her, just like I had in the store, and felt her feet in the shoes, and it felt like her feet were about to burst out of them. Literally. I made her take them off and put her old shoes back on.
She couldn't get them on.
I thought maybe her feet had swollen for... whatever reason feet swell, so I said, "Hey, run around barefoot for now, we'll try them again in the morning."
She couldn't get them on in the morning.
When we went back to the store, her feet had grown a whole size bigger!
So... I thought, when it came to the Impossible Son, hey, I can handle it!
He's grown nearly four and a half inches since last May. Which doesn't sound like much, until I tell you that three of them were just in the last two and a half weeks!! And his hands are now officially bigger than mine, which I know isn't saying much because I have small hands. His feet are huge right now (think Sora from Kingdom Hearts), and I know that means he's going to grow again, to fit those big feet.
He's going to be taller than me.
I knew that. I expect that, but it was always in the distant future, when he would be sixteen, seventeen... not now. Not... like... by next summer, when he'll be thirteen.
Holy Mackinoly... he's going to be thirteen.
He's my youngest child, and all of a sudden, time's passage is rushing by me as I watch his jaw lengthen, his chin lose it's pointy-ness, his face taking on a more adult aspect, and my baby is receding further and further into the past. I no longer see the cheerful toddler, or the bouncy kid with the big grin, I see the adult that is to come, and whoa!
Then he catches a toad and brings it to show me. And goes flying awkwardly after it when it hops out of his hands.
Yep. The kid is still there. And I can still smoke his butt at Smash Brothers.
Hey, it's the little things...