As I walk upstairs I notice my almost 11 year old son laying on his back in his bedroom staring at the ceiling. I quietly walk in and ask, “What are you thinking?”
“Remember, when I would come to my room and play with toys and that would make me happy. Well, it really doesn’t anymore.”
I hear his words and immediately understand how he feels, as my heart breaks a little bit. He is growing up, and he is no longer that little boy that would play for hours with a beach pail and a rubber snake. He had two rooms full of toys, but his imagination would take him and his toy snake on amazing adventures. I can still see him sitting on his bed lost in play, I can hear his sweet high pitched voice shouting commands to the pail. Now, he is in between-not a small child anymore, but not quite yet a teen.
I foolishly recommend a list of other activities. “Read a book.”
“Nah, I did that already.”
“Write down how you are feeling right now.”
“No, I don’t want to remember this.”
“Go, throw your football around.”
Then I turn to his wall where a small picture of him hangs when he was just days old. We were both new in that picture. Me a first time mother, him a newborn. It is hard to fathom that was 11 years ago. He and I navigated our newness and developed our mother/son relationship. Each of us learning from each other. Many times those lessons were tough to get through, but we learned and continued to grow.
Once again we are new again. On the threshold of a new phase in each other’s lives. He is maturing into a tween and I am learning how to be his mom at this stage of life. I look back and realized we have grow up together. With each new stage of his life, I grow into that stage of motherhood. It has always been that way.
I then sat next to him on the floor of his bedroom and stare out the window. I then felt his hand patting my back in our silence. I tussle his hair and we look at each other. He breaks the stillness and changes the subject with, “I can’t believe my birthday is in a few days.”
“I know. I can’t either. It feels like yesterday you just were born.”
“Yeah, to you. I still have more growing up to do.”
“Well, I do too, Buddy.”