Bug is voracious, in everything he does. His appetite is insatiable. He devours books, he inhales information, he craves attention, and he spits it all back out with rapid fire.
I’ve learned more about dinosaurs, the subject of particular interest lately, than I ever did in elementary school. Dioramas of Play-Doh stegosauruses and plastic trees included.
And Bug makes a great teacher. Except when I miss everything he just repeated from the book open in his lap, because I’m stuck staring at the little boy before me and wondering how I let him grow up so fast.
I came downstairs the other day to find him helping himself to a bowl of cereal.
At the library, he wanders off into the children’s non-fiction section, his library card in his pocket, and checks out his allotted five books while the librarian smiles at him, this miniature adult.
He showers, dries his hair, and gets ready for bed all on his own.
He pours a glass of juice to go with the peanut butter and jelly sandwich he fixed himself.
He writes stories without pausing to ask me how to spell difficult words. Even if he misspells them.
He flips on the television, with permission, of course, finds a show he enjoys, or starts one of his bajillion DVDs.
He can easily find games to play on the computer, Dad’s iPod, or on my iPhone, navigating around technology like it’s an extension of his own body. Maybe it is.
He is outgrowing me.
Until about nine o’clock at night, when he catches my shadow as I slip out of Bean’s room and down the hall, and over the muffled sounds of the television on in the den, I hear my name softly called, his voice a whisper and full of hope. “Cuddle?” he asks when I stick my head in. And because he spent the sunlight hours nurturing his independence from me, I scoot beside him beneath his blanket and let his gangly, skinny little arms wrap all the way around me.
And at least for a little while, though he needs me not, he needs me.