It’s the season for sleepers and overalls, mittens and corduroy pants.
It’s even the season for different diapers – maybe your Daddy put you in cloth more during the summer because of the heat, and now he has you back in Cushies or diaper covers with dark blue designs and little yellow duckies on them.
When Daddy tucks you in at night he pulls the snuggly blanket up to your chin (the one with bears on it? Or Toy Story?) but in the summer he simply made sure you had your teddy in your arms and that your onesie was snapped up nice and snug.
The Seasons of a Little Boy
Maybe I resisted the end of summer – I love the feeling that if you just kind of wish for it, summer will last forever.
But soon the leaves change color and there’s a chill in the air, and when you take your little guy to the park he doesn’t want to splash around in the wading pool, he wants to jump in a pile of leaves or scramble over the monkey bars.
Seasons remind us of the different ways a little boy can express himself. Trips to the beach give way to a trip to the zoo, and when winter comes you wrap him up in his snow suit and go ice skating.
The way he tugs on your sleeve to go out when the weather is warm gives way to pouting when the wind gets all cold, and all he seems to want to do is snuggle in your arms or play with his Legos by the fire.
Daddy and Baby and How Things Change, But Never Grow
But seasons also remind us of the rhythm of being a Daddy to a little boy. To the shifts that happen in ways that we don’t first notice, and then you realize your little guy has discovered a new way of seeing the world and you’ve discovered a new way of being with him.
Maybe he’s become softer, or gentler, or more giggly! Maybe he likes ‘little boy’ time now more than baby time, and grabs for a sippy cup instead of a bottle.
Or maybe his work or school has his “big side” anxious or depressed and he needs MORE baby time. Warmer sleepers, thicker diapers, and high chair time.
The amazing thing about being with a little guy isn’t just that he’ll have lots of ways to express his little side – Lego one year and Hot Wheels the next; training pants in the day when you met him but diapered full time as he started to understand he’s happier when he’s padded.
The other amazing thing is that every AB is an “A” and a “B” – and that your relationship deepens and finds new forms of expression over time.
But while your relationship may age and get better, go through rocky times or float along happily, your little guy will never really grow. You may sometimes go through stages when you see it less, but he’ll always be your baby boy, he’ll always need his Daddy, and no matter how often the seasons change or where the two of you end up, you’ll always have those memories of a day at the shore, a tucking in at night, a diaper change, or the memory of knowing that you shared something special no matter what the time of year.
When you look back on your summer, what do you remember most? What memories did you make that you’ll remember and carry with you when the weather gets cold? Oh – and a big apology to those who live in places of the world where summer has just begun!