Some people love the phrase, some people hate it, but a lot of people around here call their little boys "Little Man." I use it occasionally on both kids, but more and more I think it when I look at Nate.
A few days ago Deborah was over and she and I were sitting around with Nate. He was sitting on a stool next to the red couch , leaning over with his forearms resting on his knees, hands clasped. He watched the TV a bit, chatted a bit, was quieter and calmer than usual. And I saw him, the young man he's going to be. I can see him, straight and tall and good.
There was a weird turning point in the middle of our cruise (post to come, I promise) where he started getting really good about using his manners (an on-going point of frustration for me). Lots of "yes, please"s and "no, thank you"s. It's continued into this first week back home. He seems calmer somehow, less frantic and "spazzy." He's playing nicely with Jack; not just running around and messing with him, but teaching him football and coming up with imagination games.
He likes me right now. He wants to sit next to me while I'm working in the recliner and they're watching TV. He wants me to take them to bed and read to them, even though I keep it to 2 books and kisses and Daddy wrestles with them for 20 minutes and reads 4 books and they linger on and on until Mama yells up the stairs to turn the light off!
Stewart wanted to put a light up on the top bunk for Nate and I found a cheap clip-on one at Target. For the last few weeks, Nate asks to keep reading for a while after I leave. He looks through comic books mostly, but reads some regular ones too. I never call up for him to turn it off and it's always off and dark when I go to bed around 11. It's really fantastic. His reading has gotten really good; a recent assessment from school showed him at reading level "J" which is their target for him for the end of the year! He was only supposed to be at level "F" right now. Once I decoded the system, I was pleased as punch.
He's growing up. We talk together. He's thoughtful, and understands things like "I need a little time alone." I know I'm going to mis these days desperately, but I'm also really looking forward to seeing him at 10, and 15, and 25. I can't wait.