When does “tween” age start anyway? Is it nine? Declan turned nine in September, and along with it, I am pretty sure he became a tween.
He has watched Star Wars Episode I.
Or IV depending on your perspective.
The one with Jar Jar Binks.
But something else has happened.
He’s becoming himself.
Not just an extension of us.
Someone once told me that happens around age nine, and I finally understand what they mean. He is pushing for independence in different ways. And we are letting go, because he is showing an incredible level of maturity about his decisions.
Oh, sure. His room is a mess and I can’t get him to comb his hair to save my life.
But that seems like a sign of growing up too, right?
Recently, we were invited to go spend the night out, and as I tossed the options around my brain, my go-to reaction was, per usual, “should we get a babysitter and make it an adult night?”
Not that I didn’t enjoy my son when he was younger. Not that I didn’t want to hang out with him. Not that I didn’t love him more than anything in the whole world.
But I clamored for time alone with Bryan. For special moments away from the kid.
As I thought more about our evening-away invitation, I realized it would be MORE fun to have Declan with us. That the three of us would have a blast together. Not kid fun, not adult fun, but that somewhere-in-between place we had been creating for the past year. The tween place.
When Declan joins our conversations, with his own opinions, and adds input that totally makes sense.
When Declan cracks jokes that are seriously funny, and completely independent of his dork of a father.
When we have special time, just the three of us.