Mr. G has always been an early riser. For years he'd crawl into bed next to me and patiently wait for 6:00 when I'd turn on TV and we'd watch Curious George for a half hour on PBS. Always George--"George is a monkey. He can do things we can't do." And I'd tease Mr. G who is also a monkey and just as clever. Then I'd head to my morning shower while he'd watch The Cat in the Hat or Big Cat Diary alone. That early morning ritual was our time to snuggle.
He's always been a tactile kid. As a baby, he'd wrap his fist around my bra strap and push his fingers into my face. If he was alone, he'd rub his fingers against his thumb, just to have something to touch. Given the choice of every spot in the room, he'd pick the one on my lap or tight against my side. He's the son who sleeps on a mountain of stuffed animals. He's the son who never stops moving but always requires contact--a held hand, a quick hug.
But he's 8 now, and has taken to coming downstairs at 6:00, quietly shutting my bedroom door and turning on the living room TV to play Madden 12 or watch Discovery Channel alone. Growing up and becoming independent, the way a boy should. We've outgrown Curious George and there's no going back I guess.
I only get a whiff of his morning smell these days--faintly metallic and sweet--if I grab him for a hug while he's still wearing jammies. I don't have to shove over and make room for him on my bed. I don't have to give up control of the TV remote. But while I flip through the channels to find my favorite weatherman, I often pause on Curious George and miss those special mornings with my youngest.
This morning he came into my room at 6:15 and climbed across my body to nestle in beside me. I reached for the remote and began flipping through the channels. When I ran past PBS, he saw George and said, "go back." I did. We lay side by side and I leaned my head against his so I could inhale.