Inspired this morning by Lindy's blog, I have my own transition to deal with. This one at the hands of two "9-but-soon-to-be-10-year-olds," Jack and Charlie.
You may have read the earlier post about their extreme love of "the game" (a.k.a., baseball). This isn't a simple, passing crush. They started playing at age 2, and I have buckled up for the bumpy ride to the major leagues. (Because, naturally, that's what they aspire to be when they grow up.)
However, it wasn't long ago when I could look into the den and smile when I saw the boys lounging, limbs draped all over the sofa, watching their "counterparts" Zach and Cody on the Disney Channel. I think they related to this show more than the average kid, simply because of the identical twin thing. I never realized how much they related to them until once when discussing haircuts, Charlie said he wanted his hair to look like Zach and Cody's.
Now? The Disney-fest has been cast aside in favor of MLB -- and lots of it.
For those of you who aren't aware, we're in the middle of the All-Star break. Yeah, I didn't know either. But yesterday evening, I walked next door to ask one of the boys something, and was stunned at the sight before me. There, in their garage (a.k.a., "man cave") was Jack, Charlie, Tebo (the neighbor) and Sam. The boys were seated on a bench seat from their van, watching the wall-mounted television. On the screen, major league players were taking turns at cranking out home runs. The floor was covered with popcorn. Jack, wearing a batting helmet, greeted me with a rundown of which players had been up, and how they fared. Now, instead of hearing the names Zach and Cody, I hear Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder. (Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers won the Homerun Derby, by the way. Go forth and impress with this nugget of knowledge.)
Could these possibly be my children? My boys, who used to sit and watch not only Zach and Cody's crazy pre-teen antics, but "Cory in the House" and (my personal favorite) "Phil of the Future"? Yes, they've officially started growing up. Where have I been?
Later in the evening, the boys hit the "Back 40" for one last game. (The "Back 40" is a huge common area between our homes and the clubhouse/pool area -- perfect for boys to get a pick-up game of baseball going.) Jeff and I were outside, finishing some yard work. As the the last bit of daylight faded, there was a particularly heated play. And I distinctly heard the phrase, "What the hell, Charlie?!" leap from Jack's lips. Soon after, as he sat with me on the patio and we discussed the error of his ways, his gaze would wander over to the rest of the boys, still pitching and batting. I had the chance to take a good, long look at his face for a minute. I searched for even the smallest glimpse of his "baby face" -- you know,... when you look at a little kid and you can kind of still see what he/she looked like as a toddler or pre-schooler. There was none. Nothing. My son's features have changed to that of a boy about to turn 10, just three short years from being an official teenager. Three. Short. Years.
I guess it's no wonder they've traded in their Disney Channel-watching days for ESPN Sportscenter and any MLB game they can find on the menu. So, while Lindy bids farewell to NickJr. and enters the magic land of Hannah Montana and the Disney Channel, I am passing the torch to her. At least with Hannah Montana, there's music and fashion. My future? There's a whole lotta dirt, sweat and jock straps.