Tag Archive | adulthood

Butterfly Kisses

My oldest son turned ten today. It’s the day I’ve been dreading because it’s the day he hits double digits, signifying that he’s no longer a boy, but not quite a young man.

He’s so far from being a baby and so much closer to being  an adulthood. Everyone told me to enjoy my boys while they were little because it would all go so quickly and indeed, it has. In the blink of an eye I have a ten year old! TEN! I’ve been his mom for an entire decade, which is completely unbelievable, and the sad thing is, my youngest isn’t too far behind him. They are each one year older this year which means they are another year closer to the day I have to let them go. Even though I know they will always be my babies, l dread the day they will walk away as adults. They are already changing so quickly right before my very eyes, both nearly as tall as I am and their feet almost as big as mine. My oldest has always had the cutest, sweetest, most adorable high-pitched voice. The day puberty sneaks in and steals it replacing it with an awkward, lower pitched one, I’ll probably cry my eyes out.

My children bring out the most sensitive part of me to the point that, I’ll admit it, I cry every night on the eve of their birthday. I realize that declaring this out loud may make you see me as a bit crazy, or strange, or neurotic, but I can’t help myself. Everything that has happened through out the course of my life makes me appreciate every moment I get to have with them. I know how short life is and I’m reminded of it every time I look in the mirror and am reminded that I am no longer twenty-something anymore.

Life flies by without warning at lightning speed. These moments of whimsy and unfettered happiness, every giggle and kiss they offer up reminding me that this won’t last forever. It literally breaks my heart because if I could freeze these moments, I would truly live in them forever, and I would viciously protect them from what lies ahead as they barrel head-on toward adulthood. 

I love that I get to take care of and watch over them. I love that the most difficult decisions they have to face are what to wear and which Legos to play with. I adore their innocence and irreverent sense of humor. And I am thankful that life hasn’t mucked them up, or disillusioned them, and that they still believe that I am cool, smart and beautiful. I am happy that they find joy in the simplest things and that the world hasn’t taught them yet, how to be afraid, or ashamed, or that they should change who they are or what they believe. They are still true to themselves in a way that most of us can’t believe we were ever able to be.

At their ages,  my boys aren’t jaded, hurt, angry, or bitter, their only emotions coming directly from their beautiful little hearts which are guided by truth and perfection. As I watch them grow, I know these days will continue to pass quickly, and as I hold onto them as tightly as I can, it feels futile, like sand sifting through my fingers.

It’s not that I don’t want them to grow up. I knew that having children would result in raising them into adulthood then letting them go on their own. I knew that they would get older and hopefully become functioning, responsible members of society. 

I know that raising them to be capable, strong, compassionate young men is a privilege and an honor. But that doesn’t mean I won’t miss their impish little smiles and their sweet unaffected spirits. It doesn’t mean I won’t miss their impulsive hugs and bashful kisses and how they still want to be little boys as they strain unexpectedly toward young adulthood. 

Having a healthy perspective about it all often evades me but I do realize that my oldest is only ten, and there are still several years of childhood yet to come. While I mourn for a childhood that still remains, I realize that my fear for them is still unfounded and that I need to indulge in the joy of cuddling with them today. So I try to live in the moment, never wanting it to end and realizing how lucky I am to get to have these moments at all. And I remind myself to cherish every hug, giggle, and butterfly kiss that they bestow upon me. I can’t promise that I won’t cry on their birthday eves. I’ll probably always cry because I’m a sap like that, and that will probably never change. 

But I do know to be hopeful and happy for the promise of the wonderful young men I know they will someday be. Always hearing their sweet voices in my ears as I feel their butterfly kisses on my cheek.  

 

We’re Growing Up

I wondered when it would finally happen and I realize, it’s happening now.

My children are no longer “babies.”

They are growing into young men right before my very eyes which gives me such mixed emotions. While part of me is happy to see them thrive and grow, the other part mourns the loss of the babies I once held in my arms. I can’t believe how quickly the years have already gone, and I anticipate the ones to come will pass with equal swiftness. I am not even remotely ready to be the mother of teenagers, or to have them shun me with the contempt most boys of that age feel for their parents. I’m not ready for them to believe they have surpassed intellectually and in their knowledge of the world. I’m not prepared for them to begin blaming me for my shortcomings as a parent or resenting me for doing too much of one thing, or not enough of another.

I already find that I miss the complete and utter adoration and admiration when in their eyes, I was perfect, amazing, and could do nothing wrong.

I realize the window on my motherly perfection is beginning to close and there is nothing I can do to keep it open. My boys are becoming more savvy in the ways of the world as it becomes bigger for them, day by day. I am happy and excited for their new experiences, but at the same time, I am fearful. Perhaps, less for them and more for myself.

Being a parent was easier when I could hold them in my arms when they cried and their tears would simply disappear simply because I was near them. It was comforting to me when I could soothe their little pains or problems with kisses and hugs, or words of wisdom they would listen to with big eyes and open ears. But as they get older and their problems get bigger I realize their ears won’t always be as open, their problems will get much larger, and I will no longer appear to be as smart as I was when they were two. It’s great for your ego when you have two little people who hang on your every word and think that everything you say is the most important thing in the world. The narcissist in me will definitely miss that!

It makes me sad to anticipate the changes that are before me as a mother and them as brothers. I liked when my kids thought I was fun, smart, and cool. They still feel that way, but I can see the veil slowly starting to lift until I am revealed to be “just mom.” While being a mom to young children is exhausting, it is also incredibly wonderful for your ego. After all, is there ever another time in your life when you are ever so incredibly loved and adored as when your children are young? Sadly, I also see the slow but sure separation between brothers as they find their own friends and interests, and the loss of closeness saddens me. We’ve raised them to look out for one another and I hope they will always find their way back to one another as first friends and as brothers. As the next phase of motherhood is barreling upon me, I find that I am full of trepidation. Will I know what to do? Will I be able to help them with their bigger problems? Will I be as effective and patient? What do I know about ‘boy’ problems? Will they care what I have to say? Will I still be able to guide them into adulthood to be good men?

I know I can’t stop them from growing up and I am excited for this next phase of their lives. The independence and confidence that shines within them is amazing and incredible, and I am proud of all of us for getting them to this point. I look at them and am in awe that a decade ago, they weren’t on the planet, and now here they are bringing happiness to my life every day. While I have such hopes and dreams for them, I can’t wait to find out what theirs will be and how to help them get there.

I’m growing up with them and I can’t wait to continue growing old with them.