When my son’s school supplies list included “deodorant” for P.E. class, I knew things had changed.
My little boy was becoming a young man. It was more than just the beginning of middle school, it was the dawn of a new life stage in which in every day I need to learn to let go a little bit more. He has growing pains, sure … but I do, too.
Then he asked when he could ride in the front seat of the car, shotgun. Reluctantly, I gave in, after realizing that all the kids his age had stopped riding in the backseat a long time ago. My usual argument about the back seat being the safest seat wasn’t cutting it anymore, especially if I picked him up from basketball practice and all his friends were looking. That was another sign in itself of the preteen years.
Now he asks for permission to go to the mall with his friends, watch a movie with them, and even walk to the park on his own. I still struggle with his need for independence, even though he is 12 years old already and continues to prove how responsible he is every single day.
Simply put, it is just hard for me to accept that he’s growing up.
Even though those first weeks of his life seem so far away; the days when the hours would seem longer than usual, especially when one sleepless night would turn into a sleep-deprived day. When I look at his baby pictures I remember holding him, making him smile, and dreading when I would have to leave him to go to work.
It’s been a while since I was able to carry him (and in a few years he’ll probably be able to carry me!) but I do still get hugs that make my heart melt. (Just not in public.)
Even though you know that it is inevitable, you know eventually your baby will grow up, for some reason it still takes you by surprise.
All I can do is hope that I have been giving him the tools he needs to make the right choices on his own. But most of all, I just hope he never stops knowing that I am here to love, help, and support him no matter his age … or his height.More On