My sweet 11 year-old is at such an an awkward age. He has spent most of his life trying to keep up with his older brothers and that has made him much more mature in some ways and yet he's still very much a little boy in other ways.
He really misses his daddy and that's when the little boy in him really comes out. His feelings get hurt a little more easily right now and he still likes to cuddle with his mommy for some extra love and reassurance. Today I went out with him and we got a little treat and spent some time together just talking. Tomorrow he heads off to the new 6th Grade Center they built and he told me he was a little nervous. He doesn't know why, he just is. He'll be riding the bus with some big kids. He said he'll be okay because he has one of Neil's friends riding the bus too. (My older boys attend Seminary before school, so they don't ride the bus).
I look at this wonderful little boy and I see some vulnerability in him and I want to keep him home with me forever. But I know I can't. He has lots of friends to see at school tomorrow and their school is amazing. He has the same teacher that Neil had for 6th grade so he has comfort in that. I promised him I'd be a part of the PTO (I'm still amazed I said yes to that!) and volunteer at his school. I love that my boys still want me around as they grow older in their schools. Kevin has never been home for a first day of school and for some reason that has been really hard on my boys. It bothers them more than birthdays and other holidays. I think that adds to the emotions that Daniel has been feeling the past few days.
I know he is still settling into his own routine with his dad gone. Every day he asks me, "How many more days until my dad comes home?". Everyday I have to recalculate it in my head (not sure why I just can't remember!). Today one of our dear friends gave us this cute little chalkboard and Daniel LOVES it. He has it in his room and he already filled out the number. I have no doubt that he'll keep it updated.
I'm sad to see my baby growing up, but I feel so grateful when I catch the glimpses of the little boy that is still inside of him.
|I still love this picture that my sweet friend Amanda took the day Kevin left.|