Mason is at that age...the one where he challenges anything I tell him, and will argue his point; where he comes up with all sorts of crazy ideas to get himself out of trouble; where he is sneaky enough to find hiding places in the absolute last places anyone would think to look; where he refuses to step on cracks, or tiles of opposing colors, or things that look dirty; where he knows enough about driving to tell me that I'm doing it wrong; where he will call me out if I run a red light; where he notices if I skip a page (or two) while reading the insanely long books he chooses from the library.
When I was first told about the surgeries, chemo, and radiation Mason would need, I worried he wouldn't be the same. In some ways he isn't. He has been forced to grow up; mature enough to be able to put up with his pain, and treatments, and side-effects. Sometimes--like today--I get to see the boy who asks what the word 'rather' means, and uses it in his own sentence just after finding out. Sometimes I see the boy who knows all applicable medical terms, who likes to discuss his treatment with anyone who will listen. Every once in a while, I'll see the boy who, after seeing the tears threaten in my eyes, will pull my head down to rest on his shoulder, and tell me that he loves me.
Sometimes I feel like the child when I'm around Mason.
But at the end of the day when he crawls into bed, curls up against my body, and asks me to read him a book, or tell him a story, or sing him a song, I remember that he's still just my young little boy, barely able to count and recite his ABC's. And when I see him play hide-and-seek with the therapist at radiation, or when he throws a fit because he wants to wear a specific outfit to show off at radiation, I remember that although he knows more about suffering than any child should ever have to, he is still just a regular four-year-old boy who likes to have fun, makes mischief, gets in trouble, and tries to weasel his way out of it. :)
In short: Mason is still Mason...magnified.