Five years ago, right after Gus’ 9th birthday, I started this blog.
Now that he is almost 14, I need to find a new topic as the “growing up” part is well underway. At least for Gus, anyway. Not sure about the rest of us.
After a week, I will retire this blog and be on the lookout for a new one.
Suggestions? Put them in a comment.
Meantime, for old time’s sake, here is the first ever growingupgus post.
So I’m at Wegman’s. It’s the end of the day, we’re exhausted, just trying to grab something for dinner and get home before we turn back into protozoa or something worse. So far Gus is being pretty good, satisfied with his barbecue chex mix choice and only touching 75% of the things in the candy aisle. We’re at the check out, I can see the light at the end of this tunnel (my 6:00 martini), when Gus starts to chat with the check out lady.
My heart sinks. My strategy is to avoid conversation at all costs. It’s dangerous. And time consuming. But Gus loves to chat. He is the chat monster, and before I know it we are in it up to our ears.
“How old are you?” she says.
And before he can answer (I count in my head, one one thousand, two one thousand),
She says “Five?”
He says. “Nine!”
He just turned nine last week. Every year Gus must think, this is the magic year, nine is the magic number. Now that I am nine, people will actually believe me when I tell them how old I am!
“Nine? You are NOT.”
“Yep, I am,” he says, proudly, no matter how her face contorts.
Did I mention I love that kid?
“But you’re a shrimp,” she says to him.
“Isn’t he a shrimp?” Yes, reader, she turns to me. Then back to him.
“You’re tiny,” she says to him.
He shrugs his shoulders. He moves on, but I am salivating and clenching and unclenching my back teeth like a pit bull.
Did I mention this gal weighs about 200 pounds?
Instead I say the magic words, martini , martini, martini, swipe my card and click my heels.
Not knowing when to leave the fair, she turns to me and says:
“You must get that a lot. Do you get that a lot, how short he is?”
Receipt I think, receipt, receipt, receipt. Give me the receipt.
“You must,” she says.
“You must get that a lot, I bet.”
Am I drooling? Not sure.
And her face gets so close to mine there’s nowhere to hide and so what I meant to say was:
At least he’s not…
FAT FAT FAT FAT FAT!!!
You are huge.
You must get that a lot…
How FAT you are?
But instead I look over at Gus who has engaged the bagger in a lively discussion of paper versus plastic, and I say in a very ladylike voice,
“It’s the size of your heart that matters.”
That’s how I know. One of these days, my head is going to spin around so fast that it twists right off and lands with a splat in the Housewares section. “Mop to Aisle 6!” they’ll say over the loudspeaker.” But,
Gus is gonna be just fine.
When did guessing a kid’s age become some kind of party trick. Who says bigger is better? Detroit? Costco? Big pharma?
It makes me long for the days of sabre tooth tigers. It’s true, maybe we would get separated from the pack. We’re a little bit slower, a little bit smaller, we stop to chat when we should be running for cover. But at least I could turn on that tiger and lunge for the jugular.
But now I have to mind my manners so that my kid can grow up believing that people mean well.
And by God he will.
When was the last time you had to retract your claws?