About six months ago, I chose Puff the Magic Dragon as one of Big’s bedtime stories. I’d love to say it was because I was feeling deeply emotional (or can hold a tune), but in reality it was the shortest book within reach and I was more tired than he was (I would also love to say this is unusual…).
What was sure to be a quick read turned into a fit of tears. Big came undone.
Why would Little Jackie Paper not come back? Why would a big boy not love his best friend and toys any more? Why did he have to grow up and change? All valid questions and I could barely keep my own composure as I rocked and comforted my sweet, sensitive boy.
Well, I’ve avoided the book since then, but tonight it was on the floor. I grabbed it thinking Big had made peace with Jackie. (Why I didn’t assume Little, aka DestructoBaby, randomly grabbed it off the shelf and flung it across the room just proves how tired I am). We got through the whole book—thanks to Big’s giggling at my attempts to sing the story—but within seconds of closing the book, he was in another fit of tears begging me to sleep on the floor in his room.
Big’s emotional reaction to this story is heart breaking and heart warming at the same time. Being on the sensitive side myself, I just want to wrap him up in my mama cocoon and protect him from feeling sadness and loss. On the other hand, it’s amazing to me that at 4 years old he’s so dialed in to the sentiment of the story, and not just swept up in the tune.
All I know is that I want my “big boy” to be a little boy for as long as he can be. Because some day, instead of feeling like it’s too soon to grow up, he’ll be feeling like it can’t happen fast enough. And when that day comes, the tears will be all mine.