Have you ever stood in front of someone, knowing you have years left with them, but somehow you miss them? I’ve heard your son growing up described as “the slowest breakup you’ll ever know.” Now that my son is in high school, I’m all but counting down the number of months in his life that he will “need me.” As in being under my roof, relying on me for clothing, shelter and food. The amount of time he will need me before he runs off to a (hopefully local) college to spread his wings and fly.
When I was in high school I remember the sense of irritation I would feel when a boyfriend’s mom would treat them like they were in elementary school. I have also felt a feeling when my ex-mother-in-law and current mother-in-law would show the same tendencies. I would think to myself, your son is in his thirties. WHY do you have to buy them their favorite treat when we come visit you? Or a new shirt? Basically, name any gesture. It always annoyed me. I would think to myself, “Stop! We can buy this stuff ourselves!”
Now that I have a full blown high school boy on my hands…..I get it.
While waiting for my son to finish a weekend basketball practice last weekend, I ran a few errands. Target, of course, was at the top of the list. As I was about to head out, I ran over to the produce section to grab a strawberry banana Naked Juice. His favorite. Then when I ran through the Scooters drive through to pick up my coffee I threw a couple of cake pops onto my order. How happy will he be when I pick him up with a Naked Juice and a couple of cake pops?!
When my baby boy who is now taller than me with the voice of a man got in the car, all I could think of was how I swear just yesterday I was trying to figure out how to get him to stop sucking on his two fingers. Or how we could wean him off of that darn sippy cup. How is my BABY who has been playing basketball since he was in 2nd grade about to play his first basketball game as a high school athlete?
BAM! It hit me. At that moment, I realized I was no different from the moms of the boys I dated in high school. Or the two mother-in-laws I’ve been frustrated with.
Whether he’s a wobbly toddler, a lanky middle schooler, or the man who he has become over night, he is my baby.
I feel myself trying to figure out this exact science. The science of how to hold on to him as my little boy. Ask him questions. But don’t ask too many questions, he will get annoyed. And don’t ask him questions right after school, his changing brain will shut down. But if I don’t ask questions when they are relevant, will he think I don’t care?
Boy mamas, I see you. My heart is breaking right along with you. Those Facebook memories that make us smile and cry all at once. We crave videos of the little boys who we will never see again, yet they are standing right in front of us.
The countdown is on for that little redhead to venture out into the world without me. If you can count on one thing, it is that this mama will be here making sure his belly is full of all the Naked Juice, cake pops, and anything else his little heart desires until he drives away for college. And when he visits? I’ll have it in stockpiles.
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