When I was saying good-bye to my son this morning* and sending him off to school, I said my usual farewell: "Bye!  Love you!  Make good choices!"

*writing this Thursday afternoon

What do you tell your kids when you drop them off at school or send them out into the world? 

I got in the habit of saying, "make good choices" after we had a conversation about not following the crowd and making wise choices when his friends are doing something questionable.  I want him to remember that he is responsible for his own actions.  Kids can be such followers.  When I send him out the door every morning, I’m instructing him to think for himself.  I hope.  Remind me of this when he comes home from junior high and tells me he got busted for smoking behind the bleachers.

And while I’m talking about my son, I have to say that I’m really enjoying him these days.  Isn’t it funny how kids go through stages, and some you like better than others?  Stages, not kids.  I mean, you always LOVE them, of course, but I will be the first to admit that I don’t enjoy every stage. 

For me, I love, love, LOVE babies.  The first year is my favorite stage, sleepless nights and all.  I just love an infant.  I could hold an infant all day long.  In fact, there were many days that I did exactly that.  They’re adorable between 12 and 18 months, but I find that stage very difficult.  But then I love two. 

Go figure.  The terrible twos.  I’ll take those ANY day over the terrifying threes.  I don’t know what it is about three — they start exercising their independence or something.  It kills me. 

Four is nice, but I’m learning that I don’t care so much for five.  Beyond that, I haven’t thought too much about it.  They’re just kids, you know?

But.  I am discovering that I really like eight.  My son is
finally old enough to get my sense of humor.  When I say
something dry, he gets it.  Sometimes I’m surprised when he chuckles at one of my quips.  I don’t expect him to find the humor in it, and I don’t suppose I’m really trying to be funny most of the time, but when he looks at me and giggles, it lights up my world. 

I’ve also noticed that he can carry on intelligent conversation.  I enjoy chatting with him now.  He understands when I’m having a rough day, and he tries to help out.  Also.  He is speaking up more confidently to adults. 

If you have one of those delightfully irrepressible children who will talk to anything that is breathing, then you may not know why this brings such joy to my soul.  But for years we have been coaching our kids to speak up, make eye contact, respond when an adult talks to you already!!

Now I’m watching our son come into his own, and these skills are coming more naturally to him.  Either that, or he figured that after eight years of my nagging, I’m not going to stop any time soon, so he might as well ante up.  Either way, I like eight.

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Yesterday on Chic Critique, The Sisters reviewed Spanx, and today Megan reviews her favorite skin-quenching dry skin lotion.  Go check it out!