Tonight I took a big step in letting go. I emailed Lawson's teacher about having him evaluated for speech. He's my baby boy, and he has the sweetest, wee voice and mischievous smile. His challenges with certain sounds have never phased him, and when we repeat something especially cute that he says, he smiles a sly smile and basks in the attention. I know it's time, though. His vocabulary is growing, and sometimes his words contain more than one sound that he struggles with. There are many occasions I have to ask him to repeat himself and then listen closely because I didn't catch what he said the first time. He needs to work on his "s" sounds, "r" sounds, "j" sounds, "th" sounds, and "l" sounds. It seems like a long list, yet I'm sad about the thought of his losing his sweet little pronunciations.
I've spent the past few years hiding a smile every time he told me something he "stinks" (thinks). He always asks me not to get hand sanitizer on the "stumb" (thumb) he sucks because it tastes so bad. (Clearly he doesn't grasp the way germs work since the thumb he puts in his mouth is the one that needs the most sanitizer.) He loves double looped tags that he can rub together when he's sleepy, and even Jason and I catch ourselves calling it his "wubbing tag."
It feels like if Lawson learns to correct all of his language quirks, he'll seem like more of a big boy to me than my little man. Already it's hard to imagine that Camden was ever as small as Lawson is when he was in pre-k, though pictures from two years ago clearly demonstrate he was. For some reason unknown to me, I have developed a natural inclination to treat Lawson like the baby because he was my baby for so long. He's still my youngest boy, and watching him and Hudson, for that matter, grow in independence this year has been exciting and sad all at the same time.
Bringing up a strong, independent old soul like Camden, our oldest, has made the path somewhat easier, but I feel much more protective of his younger siblings for some reason. Camden came out ready to greet the world and eager to engage in every aspect of life. Hudson has carefully tested the waters of every situation he's been placed in and proceeded with caution and sensitivity at every turn. Lawson is my go-with-the-flow guy, and I worry sometimes he may have gotten lost in the shuffle because he is so laid back. He's in elementary school now, and I see the amount of knowledge he's gaining increasing tremendously each day. His confidence is growing, too, and every week he comes home talking about a new friend. I looked at him today and realized--despite how hard it will be for me-- I need to let him be a big kid.
I shouldn't be afraid of watching my kids grow older (even though sometimes I am), but I know how much I'll miss his little Boston accent r's when they're gone. Maybe Scout will have her own funny little word sounds for me to enjoy for a few short years.