Yesterday, my son was born. Today he’s making me an apple cinnamon omelet. I spent 12 years encouraging his independence, and now I want to scream, “I’ll do it for you, just stay my baby.”
We used to cry together, each of us on one side of the nursery school door. Now he waltzes out to his friends without a backwards glance, a casual bye mom.
We used to make up songs jumping in the trampoline, but now he’s got his own beat, (plus I don’t know the words).
It is tough watching them grow, teaching them to need us less and less. Sometimes you break down and beg, literally, for them to spend time with you. Let’s play a game. But he’s almost a man now, and I am no longer his companion of choice, though his uncles are suddenly cool.
I used to make his eyes sparkle in wonder at a vial of magic water (colored water), or a bucketful of water balloons, but no longer. Now he beams at electronic wonders. He is no longer interested in magic water, though my omelet might arrive in a lovely turquoise shade. The child lingers in the man.
I resign myself to the fact that I must let him grow. He may no longer need me to do for him, but I am still his mom. My role has merely changed. Now I must work at being his friend. We toss a football, he leads me in a prayer, and I can play a mean game of ping pong. When he says, “I’m making myself some eggs,” I no longer say “Let me help you,” but rather “Make me one, too.”
Last night, as I was reading to my eight year old, he asked, “Hey mom, want to read me a quick bedtime story too?” Surprised, I said yes without hesitation. His eyes sparkled (once in a while I still get a glimpse) as he tossed me a 400 paged book. Without batting an eye, I opened at a random page and read a few paragraphs. He had expected me to scoff at him, but he didn’t stop me either.
Hey, I said let him grow, not push him out the door.
Hanan is a mother of four who enjoys reading, writing, and thinking of new ways to challenge her kids.