A Rite of Passage

“Ok, littleb, are you ready?  We’ll do it together.  3…2…1…and go!”

We each pop a piece of gum into our mouth.  
We’d just been to CVS to pick up a few supplies, and littleb’s  attention was drawn to the gum, as it has been the last few times we’ve been to a store.  Usually, I steer him away from the gum, and towards the chocolate, his first true love, but today I call his bluff.  He surprises me by following through with the purchase.
Afterwards, in the car, we talk about the ritual of gum chewing.  Gum must never be swallowed, because it will stick to the sides of your intestines and stay there like spackle.  Where are the intestines?  What is spackle?  
I remind him that when he was five and I gave him gum, he swallowed it.  Immediately. Even after we had the conversation about not swallowing the gum.  But that was an accident.  An automatic  response to chewing something.  He is almost seven now.  It’s time for another go.  We both agree that this time, we will not swallow the gum.
Ok, littleb, are you ready?  We’ll do it together.  3..2…1…and go!
We each pop a piece of gum into our mouth.  
We smile at each other.  We are both chewing  and smiling. 
I turn toward the front and shift the car into drive.  I check the rear view mirror before pulling out, and there is littleb, waving his arms.  I put the car back in park, and hand him a piece of paper.  He spits his gum onto the paper.
“What’s the matter, littleb?  Didn’t you like the flavor?”
“I did.  It was good.  I was just done chewing it.”
“Oh.  Wasn’t there any flavor left?”
“There was still flavor.”
“Well, you know you can chew it until the flavor is gone, right?”
“Oh.  Can I have another piece?”
He pops in another piece and I put the car in gear.  We drive down the street, bobbing our heads to the song on the radio,  chewing our gum.  The September sun streams in.  We smile at each other in the rear view mirror. He turns to look out the window, smiling to himself.
I watch him, my handsome little boy, who is old enough to chew gum.   I am going to miss these days.  
Chicken out
Almost 7

  16 comments for “A Rite of Passage

  1. Anonymous
    September 8, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    We just embarked on the gum chewing journey 2 weeks ago! They are getting big!! Enjoy! – Erica Hanson


  2. September 8, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Erica! I know. It's going by too fast. Looking forward to seeing everyone in Oct. Thanks for reading.


  3. September 8, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I so love this post as it reminds me of when my son was this age. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Please sign on to follow me?


  4. September 8, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  5. September 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    There are little moments that stand out, that make you think “I'll remember this, how he looks right now”. Those are wonderful moments.

    I'm pleased that you have recognized this one. 🙂

    It's a wonderful life, isn't it?



  6. September 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

    Hi Pearl, Life has its wonderful moments, for sure. I've been lucky!


  7. September 8, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    Hi Linda, done! Thanks for linking back to read and for the follow. XO Chicken.


  8. September 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    That makes a sweet memory …

    And, pssst, I swallowed my gum for years (we're talking a pack a day habit the last few years I chewed) and there was no sticking to the intestines like spackle …so, fear not!


  9. September 8, 2013 at 10:44 pm

    I wish that I could say that you won't miss their childhood. Enjoy even if you are tire——-d. 🙂


  10. September 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

    Hi Jenny. How do you know?


  11. September 9, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Hi Munir-he is my youngest of four. On a bad day, I am tired and on a good day, I am energized. It kind of swings both ways, you know? You sound like you have kids?


  12. September 9, 2013 at 12:41 am

    Jenny-you know how there's that ceiling spackle stuff they used to use that was sort of glittery? In the seventies? Were you alive then? Anyway, didn't someone used to make a gum like that? I'm picturing your intestines sort of like a disco, with glittery spackle everywhere. That's invasive. I know. And completely inappropriate. I apologize. Please don't take offense and never come back because I like you. I hope this doesn't make you go out and buy a pack of gum. Is there a meeting you can go to?


  13. September 9, 2013 at 4:11 am

    Answer #1: Would a colonoscopy be sufficient proof? No mention of a snazzy disco in there, at least no one told me … now you're making me wonder, though
    Answer #2: I was not only alive, I was Stayin' Alive and also doing The Bump in the 70's, but I must say I don't know anything about that glittery spackle or the gum with glitter …

    No worries, no offense taken, I find it hilarious! And I'm done with gum. It gives me acid reflux. Especially when I swallow a pack a day 🙂


  14. September 9, 2013 at 10:54 am

    I'm a little disappointed there's no disco in your intestines. I was picturing you walking down a random street with the faint sound of the bee-gees emanating from your abdominal area. It's better for you, though, I suppose. Flavor crystals seem to have come after the bump and the hustle. I'm so old now, I forget what happened when. They cause quite a stir: http://shrinkalink.com/66807


  15. September 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Oh he's sooo cute! I remember pining for my 6th birthday so I could get that pink bubble gum icecream at Baskin Robbins.


  16. September 9, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Hi Ashes, and I thought pink bubblegum tooth paste was cool!


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