They're Growing Up

Dylan took his little brother to the store on his own for the first time tonight. Armed with some loose change, they set out down Demers Drive, up Father Mercredi to Fraser and beyond to the confectionery beside McDonald's downtown. It was a walk of about four blocks--the beginning of many more inevitable walks of independence.

I probably started independent trips to the candy store at a much earlier age, though we had the advantage of being only a half block away from Percy's. This was a storied confectionery that not only had an amazing selection of candy, it served up some of the best homemade root beer known to man. I have cousins, now in their late 40's, who still lick their chops over memories of that sudsy delight.

Dylan is 11, at that age where gestures of independence are very important. His next big step will be to walk over to the Peter Pond Shopping Centre on his own, a little farther than the confectionery and certainly a lot more intimidating.

When I was that age I would hop on my bike, ride down the highway to the dam on the Assiniboine River to fish and hang out by the water all day. We got into all kinds of adventures in this popular spot just on the outskirts of town. Perhaps she was distracted with the rest of the kids, but Mom never seemed to worry about my whereabouts. I'm certain I'd have a different reaction if Dylan or Ben took off for an entire afternoon.

When Ben was much younger, he wandered off down the block. He panicked and couldn't remember the names of his parents or the house number. We panicked a little too as a police cruiser came by the neighborhood to sort out the mix up and put son and parents back together.

When they are mulling babies you can't wait for it to pass. As they drive you crazy in their terrible twos you long for them to begin preschool. But as they enter grade school and spend their entire days away from the house, time rushes by and you can't seem to slow it down. Their childhood will soon be past and their future, present. They're growing up--way too fast in my view.

May 18, 2010 - 193.6 pounds, 28.4% body fat

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