He stands taller than me now and long, pale whiskers hang off his chin in a cruel attempt to break my heart. When he wanders into the kitchen soon after we've said goodnight it's all I can do to keep a straight face. This poor boy - too big for the pajamas that rest their cuffs at his mid-calf and long sleeves that only come partway past his elbows. This poor boy - looking like a motherless little man in pj's that fit him just months ago. "What are you wearing?" I ask.
He pulls on the top so it's hem reaches the bottoms. "It's all I had," he says. He turns his head and light catches one of those chin hairs and I try to grab it before he hops out of the way. "What are you doing?" he demands but there is laughter in his voice.
"What are you doing?" I retort. "Just stop it. Just stop growing up!"
He raises his eyebrows like he's trying to raise the top of his head even taller over me. "My nose is irritated," he says.
"Yeah, irritated. Like kind of hurting."
"Like hurting? Like stuffed? Like you have a pimple in it?" I ask.
"Um, yeah, I guess."
"So how can I help? You want me to kiss it? Pick it? Squeeze it?"
He shrugs and his mini top climbs up before he yanks it back down.
"You want to take an Advil Cold & Sinus?"
He shrugs again but a grin tugs at the edge of his mouth.
"Can you swallow a pill?"
"Yeah," he says and he looks ready to break out in hysterical laughter.
"What's so funny?" I ask him.
"I don't know," he says, taking the pill from my hand and popping it in his mouth.
I hand him a glass of water. "Those are magic pills," I tell him.
"Sure they are," he says, laughing.
"You're weird, mom."
He kisses me goodnight and I pray it will never be the last time. "Love you," I say.
"Love you too," and he turns to leave the kitchen, his long legs hanging out the bottom of those red pants like he's a ratty hobo waiting for a train and I can't help but laugh right out loud.