The first few years after I got married it felt really odd to say 'husband', like I was playing dress up or house and that grown-up word couldn't possibly apply to my immature self. Of course this is coming from someone who still feels silly wearing any visible lipstick or high heels, I'm a slow bloomer or possibly suffer from a Peter Pan complex. No matter how independent I become, I still feel like a kid. A kid with emerging crow's feet.
Having a child is an excellent recipe for growing up in a hurry. Luckily I had prepared myself for that abrupt call to adulthood and was fully expecting to be overwhelmed, but I actually surprised myself with how natural the transition felt. I instantly embraced words like 'mother' and 'child' with ease. This little baby was 'my baby' and it rolled off the tongue.
And then Little Smith got bigger. So big that he really is not 'my baby' anymore, he's a little boy. A few weeks ago I overheard Big Smith casually call him 'my son' and it completely threw me. I literally had a fraction of a second where I thought, 'how funny that he's saying he has a son'. I can't say why, but 'son' has proven to be just as big a stumbling block as 'husband' was a few years ago when it was still fresh.
It's a lovely word; sweet, simple, and conjures the radiance of the other sun. I'm very proud to have a son, it's just kind of freaking me out to say it.
So I'm breaking it in, throwing 'son' out there every chance I get and resisting the temptation to retreat to 'my little boy' (which just sounds far more normal- right?!).
Baby steps toward adulthood, hopefully I can stay at least a few paces ahead of my son.