It's been a while since I've talked about Tommy. He's just as sweet and sensitive as he's always been, but has been growing up a lot lately. It's funny how going to public school every day can change kids just a little bit. He's still HIM, if you know what I mean, only he's interacting with a much wider world these days.
I tend to let him be as grown up and independent as he wants to be. He's never been a defiant or secretive kind of kid, so there's not much danger in my letting him hold his own reins a bit. It seems like he's always been allowed to go into public bathrooms on his own and to cross the street without holding my hand and to make his own phone calls and to make his own crystal light and to cut up strawberries by himself and to buy his own snack at Target snack counter. I know that's not true, but I honestly can't remember when he became old enough to do those sorts of things on his own. I take care of Charlie and Tommy takes care of himself. I'm always there as a safety net, and he's not ready to be out in the world without me, but he really does do lots of stuff for himself. I trust him and he knows I trust him and that makes him feel responsible and confident. It's not even something I think about all that much, except when I'm surprised to hear that other 6-year-olds aren't allowed to do one of those things on their own.
But then there are moments when he still seems so young. He came out of his room crying this morning and needing a lot of little boy snuggles. He discovered a new Dora show on the Nick Jr. website yesterday. I guess they're doing a show with a more grown-up Dora for pre-teens. I'm thinking 9-11 year olds. He woke up upset because he realized that Boots the Monkey isn't part of the new show. I guess the story behind the new show is that Dora and her family moved to the city and she and her girlfriends do community service activities (in a fun way, of course). I can see how Boots the Monkey wouldn't make it into the new show. He's a little kid sidekick. There's no place for a Boots in a grown up Dora the Explorer.
That whole concept is way beyond Tommy though. All he knows is that Dora had to move away from the rain forest and she might never see her best friend Boots again. He didn't understand how Dora could have possibly moved away from Boots, and I didn't even try to explain about out-growing childhood imaginary or toy friends. Poor Tommy. He was so sad. The idea of Dora without her friend Boots is the saddest thing in the world to him.
He has vowed to never move away from our home, to never go to college, to never stop sleeping with Chester Cheetah. I know that he won't be able to keep those promises, and I would never want him to. Hopefully, growing up will just happen without him noticing. One day he'll be happy to have a sleep over and then he'll be ready to spend a week at Grandma's and then he'll be grown up. It's a good thing I trust him to turn out OK.