He is the one I butt heads with the most.
The one that first called me “mom”, and he’s growing up. He hangs somewhere in the midst between boy and man, lingering in each category for a while before returning to the other. Reminders of his boyhood like these sometimes catch me by surprise. I know they will become fewer and fewer. Car keys will replace small boyhood toys, a deep voice replacing his once squeaky coos. We’re in the phase of letting go. Very slowing letting go, but letting go all the same. It’s a stage I embrace and mourn at the same time. Nothing gives me greater joy than seeing him spread his wings, but the realization of how short the season of parenting is can be like a bomb inside. I’m not going to sit here and say enjoy every moment, because you won’t… and all that tends to do is make us, as mothers, feel bad about how we counted down the minutes till bedtime last night (or the last 27 nights…) BUT I will say respect the process. It is SUPPOSE to come with both waves of great relief and happiness that they are becoming more independent and also with a bittersweet tinged sadness that the baby you rocked and nursed and carried on your hip is slowly fading into a man.
And. It’s. Okay.
It’s okay to feel both. Just like it’s okay to have tough days intermixed with ones you feel like you are WINNING at this parenting gig! Life’s a great big ‘ole bowl of mess, filled with every kind of emotion and experience and effort. We were not meant to ride on a cloud of happiness and success our whole existence. This life is organic and messy; hard and beautiful; heartbreaking and soul lifting. All at once sometimes. Breathe it in. All of it. Don’t push that away. That is exactly what reminds you that you were created in God’s own image. That soul that stirs up all those thoughts and feelings and ultimately drives you back toward Him. Sometimes sending you to your knees in the process. Embrace that!