So, I spent the morning running around getting last minute finishing touches for our Halloween costumes, including everything I need to make the dog's. I also bought some special stuff for our Halloween dinner, excited to set the table with our sugar skull china and ouija board platter.
I got home and put it all away and received a text from the 13-year-old.
"Mom, can I go trick or treating with Nate? In his neighborhood? At 6?"
I sat and stared at it for a few seconds, happy for him. My favorite Halloween memories happened around his age.
"Yeah! Sounds fun! Definitely yes."
And then I called Mr. Ashley.
"Well, yeah, this is what we want for him. He's 13, Ashley!"
"I know! I want that too! But he's our Willy Wonka, and the dog is the Oompa Loompa, and I bought his favorite drink for the dinner and was gonna set the table with the Halloween china and he has to be there at 6 and," I stopped and took a deep breath as I stifled sob, "it's one of the last times!"
Ugh. It's not the Willy Wonka-less Chocolate Factory family costumes or the special dinner or his lone Oompa Loompa of a brother (who has the dog, I guess).
It's that it's all kind of winding down -- his childhood, or at least the part where we play the starring roles -- and how did that happen?
The other day I casually reminded my childhood best friend that they'd be in middle and high school next year and she replied, "He'll be a freshman?!" and I briefly thought, no, that's impossible, before realizing that yeah...that's exactly what that means. I just hadn't considered him in that context. Ever.
Not even five full years until he's a legal adult. I remember five years ago like it was yesterday.
(I'll be lobbying to change that, by the way, you're not an adult until you're 25.)
As a mom it might be one of my scariest Halloweens ever -- standing at this parenting precipice and seeing what comes next more clearly than I have before. Ugh.
And part of what comes next is no more family costumes. Dammit.
Life makes no sense without a Willy Wonka.
The idea is going to take some getting used to.