No, I’m not talking about Boyz II Men, the boy group. They were a little after my time. (I was into the original boy band – the BeeGees!) I’m talking about my little boy. Where did he go?

As we approach his graduation from 8th grade, I can’t stop thinking about how fast the time has gone. I think a lot about the end of this chapter of my life. Sixteen years or so of my kids attending elementary school. That is where I formed my deepest bonds with other parents. It was my community. As life has it, kids grow, teens get active, parents return to work, and life evolves into something  different than when you were trying to teach your child the sight word “the.”

Graduation photos presented an opportunity to dress up in graduation clothes. About a day or two before, we started looking through the closet. This boy has grown about 8″ over the past year and a half. Nothing fits! We went up into the attic to see if there were any dress pants up there. Nope. He is taller than his older brother now. So we headed down to brother’s closet. We outfitted our jazz piano-playing son with some H&M suits for his 21st birthday. Billy grabbed one of the jackets and a separate pair of traditional dress pants. He loved the jacket! Most of the H&M pants were too narrow and the traditional pants didn’t look right with the slim fit of the jacket. So I ran out to the store and got a new pair of pants. They are still cut narrow, but don’t look like skinny pants! I snagged the suspenders while I was there, too.

As much as I miss my little boy, I love the transformation that occurs when he puts on a suit. I remember Joey attending his first formal in high school. He was nervous and excited and handsome. And he knew more was expected out of him that night. And now, Billy, looking dapper, headed off to school. Me, hoping there are still trees to climb and balls to kick in his future. But also relishing the fact that he is becoming a man.