How did he get to be so tall?

I had a shocking moment when I was putting together our photo album from our vacation. I’m using the same online service I used last year and at one point wanted to look at something in last year’s book. After retrieving the book from the living room, I looked at the photo on the cover of the album and stopped dead in my tracks.

Pre-teen Boy
A year ago, Alfs came up to my shoulder. Now he’s up to my mid-cheek. That is not an insignificant height change for a year. Oh, my. How did this happen and I not realize it? It seems like it just snuck up on me. And I suspect Alfs is in the middle of another growth spurt right now.

Sleep and eat, then repeat

Growth spurts are funny things. When the kids were newborns, it usually took me a couple days to realize that the increased eating was growth spurt and by then it was almost over. Similarly the growth spurts of early childhood — only after days of eating everything in sight and general crankiness had wound down would I realize my child had been in a growth spurt.
The growth spurts since then have been more subtle, usually identified when clothing “suddenly” no longer fits. But this time, after pointing out that the jeans we bought six months ago a little long are now obviously short, I realized the growth spurt is still going on. And from poking around the Internet, it could be going on for a while.

Last weekend, Alfs feel asleep on the laundry pile at 5:00 in the afternoon. He’d gone to bed reasonably on time the night before and slept until after 9:00AM. Then last night he voluntarily went to bed well before his agreed upon bedtime. I would be positively glowing if I had that much beauty sleep. Alfs says he’s tired, constantly.

Then there’s the food intake. I used to joke that when the kids hit puberty, we’d have to take out a second mortgage to feed them. I’m not joking much anymore. Alfs eats constantly. Woody is a pretty big eater, too, and he’s nowhere near this kind of growth spurt. I’m buying more snacks than I used to just to keep the boys going, and trying to find healthy snacks, but I admit it’s a challenge. It’s just constant.

The expected is unexpected

I expected this. No, really, I did. I just didn’t expect it, if you know what I mean. It’s crazy. At this rate, Alfs will be taller than his dad and me in about a year.

But even though I expected the height (and he’s projected to be about five inches taller than me) and I expected the growth spurts, living through them — watching them, feeding them, waking them up — is something quite different. It’s almost surreal. This person, who was once so tiny and helpless, is slowly but surely getting bigger than me. It’s so wrong, but it’s absolutely right. It’s what’s supposed to happen, it’s what kids are supposed to do: grow up. Literally and figuratively.

My time is short until I’m (relatively) short. I intend to enjoy every diminishing inch of that time, enjoy my little boy actually being little. Just a little bit longer.
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