Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Very Different Nine Than Mine

My boy is 9!
The birthday was actually a couple of weeks ago, but this post is more about the changes I've seen since the big day.

I remember being 9. My mom's boyfriend bought me Prince's Purple Rain album (mostly because he was sick of hearing the Thriller album played over and over again). It became the soundtrack for what would be a year of deep introspection, and probably my first complex philosophical ponderings.

I was a weird little kid who liked writing in her journal, taking long walks alone on the railroad tracks, and nursing baby birds fallen from their nests. On Saturday mornings, I would take a big trash bag and pick up all the trash (including cigarette butts) from an alley on my way to the park. I had my own business - washing cars ($3) and pick-ups ($5). I was a loner when I was 9.

I was living in a very different country, had survived my parents' divorce, and was being raised very free-range. By the time I was my son's age, I had made an international flight (with stop-overs in Miami and Colombia) and several domestic flights by myself, already had two years of experience as a latch-key, made my own breakfasts and packed lunches, and was very independent.

My son's life is different. He has two parents at home, has never gone to a sleep-over or stayed with a babysitter, and I wouldn't dream of sending him off on an airplane by himself. We live in an extremely dangerous country - social and political violence, and natural disasters every year. He has not experienced early freedom as I did.

There are some similarities though - he also runs his own business making and selling jewelry (he's already saved $75 this year), but I go with him and watch from a distance. He's really listening to - and understanding - lyrics in the new music he likes (pretty grown-up protest rap). He's starting to question me, and not just accepting my opinions as facts. I can see in his eyes that he's looking at the world in a whole new way.

This is the half-way mark to legal adulthood. He's growing up so fast and I'm so, so, so happy that we're homeschooling and I can enjoy every second of this amazing and beautiful part of life that is childhood, with him.


  1. Yes :)

    Different but good.

    I love hearing about kids who have their own jobs or business, so wonderful they have the time, the motivation and the freedom to do that. What a great learning experience!

  2. Happy Birthday to your son! I can really relate to how your life was different from your son's life. I feel the same way. I'm so excited we're homeschooling. I have a ways to go until my son is 9 - he's 5 now. Gee, I guess it's not too long. Four years will go so fast!