I've been thinking about 11-year old boys lately.
Probably because I have one.
And I've never had one before this one.
I'm thinking that they thrive on routine (and everyone who has ever read a parenting book, go ahead and say "Duh" altogether now...).
And I'm thinking that this is the age I taught and loved in "real school." This is one of the Golden Years, one of the few years when they are actually competent enough to be truly helpful and still eager enough to want my approval and praise.
Also, I think they like to have a say in things. This is really tricky:
1) I don't always want an 11-year old opinion;
2) I don't always have/make time to hear an 11-year old opinion;
3) I don't know how to succumb to an 11-year old opinion.
But I'm realizing that part of this transitioning from little kid to older kid to independent person is going to involve my letting him make some decisions, correctly express those decisions, and act on those decisions. And the decisions are going to have to be bigger than what he will wear today (and to be fair, even his 3-yr. old brother gets to make that decision for himself).
No answers, just questions and ponderings and realizing that being one of the ones in control means I am going to have to occasionally loosen my grip.