Four inches are all that remain between my height and his.
His feet are definitely bigger than mine and I’m counting the days until I see hair in his armpits. To say things are changing seems like an understatement! This guy is transforming! The days of him being my firstborn baby (He was soooo cute!) seem like a distant memory. I have to pull out picture albums and have Facebook remind me of what he used to be because the present has definitely clouded my view of the past.
He turned eleven this month. And asked for his favorite Black Bean brownies with buttercream frosting.
Bowling, pizza, and some survival gear ended up in the party plans too.
I get warned often by some well-meaning strangers that the worst days with him are yet to come.
I’m not buying in though. Change will happen, hard days even. Maybe even some years when we wonder what’s up. But the change, and those trials don’t have to determine how I view my son now, or then. I refuse to smack a “BAD” label on him now for crimes yet uncommitted. For sure there will be plenty of bumps along the way, and more opposition to our parenting than in previous years, but strange as it sounds to the nay-sayers of young adulthood, I’m excited about the future! This guy is growing his flight feathers, and as he starts stretching those wings and testing out the breeze, I know this for certain: I will always be his mama, and he will always be my son. We will face the winds of change together and give thanks for how those wings we’ve worked so hard to train and develop can carry him.
Part of all this change means he needs different things from me now though. If he’s going to change – and there’s no doubt he is! – than I’m going to need to make some adjustments too! Hovering time is over. The mindset I’ve had that I always get my way because I’m mom has to die. You know that one we mom’s get hung up on and have a hard time letting go?!
He may not do things my way, but it doesn’t mean things are worse, or heading down the road to worse. Just the opposite really.
I’m already seeing how he needs more personal responsibility, more free space and less mothering (sometimes known as nagging…oops). He needs me to respect him and his opinions as important. He needs me to be honest and caring, a woman he can count on to treat him like HE really matters. Mostly though, he needs me to entrust him to God, pray diligently for him, and believe that he will succeed. It’s a shift in my role that is hard for me right now. I don’t have it all figured out yet, (and will treat him like a little boy a few more times I’m sure), but I’m finding a new freedom and delight in this firstborn son of mine.
They say the days are long with your kiddos, but the years are short. I know this to be very true, and every moment with them is a gift. The future is always filled with hope, and I couldn’t be happier watching this boy grow up and need me (in those old ways) less.
He isn’t mine to keep. He’s only mine to nurture and train up to be a man who can live apart from me, and be an amazing and successful gift from God to this world!
I rejoiced over him at his birth, in all his innocence, sweet baby smells, and desperate need for me. I rejoiced over him in those hard toddler years as we defined who was boss. I rejoiced over him as he learned to ride a bike and read a book with me by his side. I rejoiced over him as he went to school and began to learn hard lessons and how to live without my constant supervision. I rejoice over him now in the awkwardness of adolescence and the newfound activities he loves so much that take him far away.
And I will rejoice over him in his teens, his college years, and always.
Which is why at eleven, or fifty seven, he is still entitled to a big old kiss from mom. 🙂
Baby no more, my boy forever. I love you, Son!