I walked by the open bedroom door and stopped to turn off the light. As my hand reached for the switch, I glanced at the person laying on the bed and thought: That is a young man. Its not longer my little boy, but a young man.
Wait, STOP, Just for a minute. STOP. I need a second to catch up. I need a moment to say goodbye.
I know that I will let go of the kid who was caught between two worlds- of boy and teen- because I’ve done it all along. As a tiny baby whose whole body fit neatly in one hand, to a grinning toddler who went everywhere in a Captain Feathersword costume carrying either a Thomas the Tank Engine or a Lightning McQueen car, to a sturdy school aged boy who RAN everywhere, explored EVERYWHRE and gave me constant heart attacks- I loved each and every stage and while I looked forward to the next one, I mourned the loss of the one we left behind.
Just a while ago I begged for just one more summer of what I thought was the perfect age for him. Oh, how I needed just a little more time of my little guy being little. I got my wish- one more summer of little boy madness. Then inevitable, he went on to the next stage. He grew. And I grew with him. I had no choice, it was grow, or be left behind.
Even now, I see how wonderful it’s been. I see what an amazing teenager he is becoming. There are so many changes happening with him even on a daily basis, it seems like he SHOT up taller than my 5’9” in a week, to suddenly having a deeper voice and a different laugh and even different ways of thinking. We discuss politics for God’s sake, and he knows what he’s talking about. He’s growing up, moving on, leaving childhood behind as he reaches for his full potential. That’s the plan, and I’m doing my job right because he’s already an amazing person. He will be a magnificent man.
I think that I will always miss that grinning toddler, the magical ideas of a 6 year old, the Cars cars, the #EpicForts and my little boy. Having said goodbye to each stage lets me know what I’m missing, and what I’m gaining.Oh my boy is growing up, and it’s a wonderful, magical thing. We have SO many adventures ahead of us! I’m lucky that he still thinks Mom is cool, for the most part, or at least pretends that I am –and he still wants to hang out with me. He still is my adventure buddy, but now, he suggests adventures. He’ll leave me behind to hang out with his friends, but make sure he comes back for a kiss goodbye, and an “I love you” before he walks away, regardless of who is around. He still asks my opinion, then he forms his own.
Sometimes, he still grabs my hand before we cross the street. I just can’t tell if it’s to keep him safe, or for him to keep me safe. Whatever the reason, I hold on.