Zacharie skateboarding
Rocking the half pipe

Zacharie is getting braces this week. “He’s up to my boobs!,” my wife will exclaim about his rocketing growth. He wants his own iPhone. He has a growing courage to spout snark and talk back to his parents. He wears his ball cap backwards, and loves to skateboard. All signs that he’s becoming a bold tweenager.

Yet, he still cries at movies. Z looks like he is growing up quickly, but he’s still a little boy inside.

I didn’t get braces until I was in Grade 8. Nowadays, the kids are getting them earlier and earlier. For a year already kids in Z’s Grade 3 class have been sporting spacer retainers and wired mouths.

buzz bishop braces
My Grade 8 school photo

We knew Z’s tiny jaw and big chiclets would be trouble, and he’s been seeing an orthodontist for consultations for almost a year. She’s been watching and waiting for the teeth to do the work on their own, but it’s not happening. So he’s getting upper braces tomorrow.

He’s growing up so fast.

Popcorn and corn on the cob, 2 of Zacharie’s favourite foods, are on the banned substances list once he has braces. Ever since we got word the doc was going ahead with the install, we’ve had cobs with dinner and  I promised Z a movie date would also be on the calendar before he set off the metal detectors. He immediately screamed “Ghostbusters!!”

zacharie popcorn

Last night we ordered the biggest popcorn on the menu, picked the good seats in the middle of the theatre, and then walked out immediately after the first scene, Zacharie in complete tears.

My little man is still very much a little boy.

Z still gets freaked out by movies. When he watched Jurassic World on our long flight to Australia last month, he had to take his headphones off at certain points. The content wasn’t necessarily scaring him, the fully immersive experience of the audio made the visuals too much. He’d exhale loudly, take a pause, and say “I just need to not hear the dinosaur yelling, daddy. I can still watch it, though.”

I should have known the remake would be a little much. We’ve tried to watch the original, but the haunting portions were just a little dark for him to handle. Still, after checking some family reviews of Ghostbusters and them just warning of some swearing and sexual content, I wasn’t worried about the ghost parts. Turns out, I had been reading reviews of the original, not the reboot.

10 minutes in and we were sitting on the floor outside the theatre with our huge, half-eaten bag of popcorn. “I don’t like that, daddy. I don’t want to see any more movies where people are getting killed.”

No problem, I assured him and peeked up to see the theatre next door was showing Ice Age. It was half over, but it was just the palate cleanser he needed. I slept through it, he giggled and plowed through the rest of his popcorn.

On the ride home we talked about the movies, why he was scared, and how I was proud of him for listening to his body and asking to leave.

I know that kids at his day camp have seen Ghostbusters and that kids in his school had scene racier flicks (8 and 9 yr olds watching Deadpool!? yes), but if it wasn’t cool for him, that’s okay too.

Zacharie is growing up
Our little man/boy

Tomorrow he gets braces. He’ll look like a full blown tweenager. Inside, I’ll know he’s still a little boy, not yet a little man.

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