The Baba Promise

November 7, 2011

Jake turned 6 years old on Friday, and while he was ecstatic, I was somewhat somber. I tend to get that way on my boys’ birthdays. I can’t help it. I really don’t want them to get any bigger.

And, I have to admit that I think my Jakey’s lisp is adorable and the fact that he still sucks on his blanket, called Baba, precious. I mean, look, he’s not going to be 15 years old sucking on that thing, and I’m pretty sure that with enough speech therapy, his lisp will be long gone by then.

However, time stands still for no man, as they say. So, while my boys keep getting bigger, I’m savoring every delicious youthful moment. Don’t get me wrong. I do want the boys to grow into self-assured independent young men. And, I know if I do my job right, they will leave the nest with confidence.

So, when Jakey gave himself a deadline for giving his Baba up and relegating it to “souvenir” status, I was very encouraging. On the eve of his birthday, I asked him if he wanted to put Baba away, to which he nonchalantly replied, “I’m not 6 yet. We need one more night together.”

Jake with his Baba

Here's Jake a couple of years ago, captured in an intimate moment with Baba. (He no longer allows pictures to be taken of him with Baba.)

Well, not much changed on the evening of his 6th Birthday either. Jakey felt Baba wasn’t quite ready.

This was a pivotal moment in his young life. And, I realized I could either keep him tied to Baba and “baby world”, or I could help him on his quest to separate and grow up. I decided to help him grow up, as much as I wanted to keep my baby a baby forever.

The next morning, Sam, Jake and I were sitting at the breakfast table discussing Jake’s trouble with giving up Baba. I then proposed a joint promise among the three of us. Sam and I would each pick something we wanted to work on, and the deal was, if Jake gave up Baba, we promised to accomplish our chosen goals.

Sam pledged to “get up earlier and be at school earlier.” My goal was to finally commit to an exercise regime. Jake loved it. He was re-energized and excited now that we were all in it together. To cement the deal, we put our hands in the center of the table, one on top of the other, and yelled out, “one for all, and all for one.” (What? We just saw The Three Musketeers.) A little corny, ok. But, hey, it’s for the kids.

We dubbed our pledge to one another, The Baba Promise. Hopefully, by helping Jake to give up Baba, we’ll all accomplish something. Sam will learn to manage his time in the mornings better, Jake will no longer need his security blanket, and I’ll become healthier. Now we just all have to make it happen!


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