As I stood yesterday afternoon watching Oscar, Edgar, and August at this tank, it dawned on me that this was the first time August, soon to be three, experienced this aquarium exclusively on his own two feet. The stroller stayed in the car–and truly that’s where it belongs. Every day August lets us know in no uncertain terms that he is “not a baby!” He relishes his independence and being able to negotiate this world on his own terms. I marvel at his growth and wonder why it has to come seemingly all at once.
And just as wistfulness at this inevitability was about to overwhelm me, I looked at Oscar. He stands a full head taller than Edgar and is nearly five years older than August–and of the three the one who wanted to (or, more accurately, insisted on) bringing his stuffed beluga whale to the Mystic Aquarium, it was Oscar.
The whale had to be washed so she looked her best; she sat with Oscar the whole way to Connecticut. He doted on her.
It was sweet, it was childhood–and it reminded me that though children’s growth is fast and furious, it, like the tides themselves, ebbs and flows. The flashes of maturity are often coupled with these momentary visits back to a time when they were even younger.
And as proud as I am of August and his quest to move forward, I am equally proud of Oscar and his willingness to occasionally move back.