Each year our singleton gets older life gets easier. Sure, he’s a crazy boy who never sits still and makes me worry that he’s going to end up in the hospital.

Gone are the days I need to pack a diaper bag filled with diapers, wipes, change of clothes, sippy cups, snacks, table covers, bibs, and toys. If I forgot something it was tiresome to keep him busy.

Getting him dressed, getting him the car seat was exhausting, dragging him along with his bag and my bag was exhausting.

Now…

I simply get my bag and go. He has to be responsible for his own water and snacks. All toys, water, and snacks are his responsibility. He wants to bring a toy? Sure, pack what you want, you carry it, and put it all away when we get back home. He actually helps me on errands by pushing the cart and bagging the groceries.

Most mornings he occupies himself. He can make his own breakfast: cereal, microwave pancakes, or burritos if he chooses. When he’s in the mood he will actually listen the first time when asked to clean up and get dressed.

It’s a joy to have conversations with him, when he’s not perseverating on his newest obsessions: all types of primates and superheroes, specifically which is stronger than a specific animal or superhero. We share the same sarcastic humor and I love most of the movies he watches now. He just cracks me up and the love he has for his mommy is overwhelming.

Even though money is tight, we can still afford to send him to summer camp at Boys and Girls Club, which is right down the road from where we live, which makes walking there a breeze. As a teacher, that means I get to spend the day alone cleaning out our apartment, preparing lessons, exercising, and recharging my brain.

Don’t get me wrong. He’s not a joy all the time, kids can really suck the life out of you. There are times when I don’t understand why he can’t get dressed or clean up the first time I ask him. Why can’t he put his clothes directly in the hamper instead of throwing them on the floor? Why can’t he put the dishes directly in sink without being told? Why can’t he eat without stuffing his face or get all the pee in the toilet? Why can’t he remember to flush?

All in all, life is better because of our singleton.

How about you? What are the joys of raising an older singleton?