Last night as I was telling my 10 year old, my first born, good night I realized I would no longer be privy to every thought he may have anymore. I was asking something somewhat trivial and he said “That’s private; I don’t want to tell you”. It felt like a knife through my heart. Here sat this beautiful boy that I carried for 9 months and got up with in the middle of the night numerous times for the first 2 years of his life. The child I prayed that God would give me, that I would literally lay down my life for without thought, I would for each of my children. I love that boy beyond what love is, as a parent you know that love. Here he sits telling me that he is his own person separate from me and I don’t get to know every aspect of his being anymore. Why? Because he said “I am growing up mom”. There was nothing I could do my heart was literally caving in and tears rolled down my cheeks, it was that sick feeling I had when I was homesick as a child for my mom. I told him I didn’t want him to grow up. That was not in the plan! He said “You can’t stop it, that’s what is supposed to happen”. But he did let me hug him for awhile and I asked “Does that mean no more hugs?” He responded “No, you will still always get to hug me”.
All my life I have wanted to be a mom and I could always picture myself staying at home raising children. However, my vision never included the children getting older than about 9 years old. Probably because all the children I babysat for were under the age of 9. I never pictured a time when my children would not share every single thought with me, but I have to respect his privacy, his autonomy. He wants to be his own person separate from me and that is completely normal and healthy. I am his mom not his bestest friend in the world. As I sit here and write this I am still pained by it. I tell you what, when they all leave and “empty nest” occurs I think I will throw myself from the nest! So how do I accept my children growing up?
Nothing can make the fact that my children are aging better. I guess it is one of those things in life I just have to accept. I am not big on change. I need to embrace each age that my children reach and not be wishing for the past or holding them in the past. It is about acceptance, true acceptance of this precious gift of life on loan to me as a mom from God. I must let my children grow and become their own person it’s what I want in theory. But the actual letting go is crushing to say the least. He is only 10, I still have plenty to teach him and many years with him but last night I just got a glimpse of the future and I guess I was not prepared for it. Who is prepared to watch their children really grow up? I know that God will give me the strength to be a good mom because no matter what his age I will always be his mom.
Can I Carry You ?
one more time before you grow.
And tell you that I love you
so that you will always know.
Please let me tie your shoe again.
One day you’ll tie your own.
And when you think back to this time
I hope it’s love I’ve shown.
Can I help you put your coat on?
Can I please cut up your meat?
Can I pull you in the wagon?
Can I pick you out a treat?
One day you might just care for me,
so let me care for you.
I want to be a part
of every little thing you do.
Tonight could I please wash your hair?
Can I put toys in the bath?
Can I help you count your small ten toes
before I teach you math?
Before you join a baseball team
can I pitch you one more ball?
And one more time can I stand near
to make sure you don’t fall?
Let’s take another space-ship ride
Up to the Planet Zoor.
Before our Cardboard Rocket
doesn’t fit us anymore.
Please let me help you up the hill.
while you’re still too small to climb.
And let me read you stories
while you’re young and have the time.
I know the day will come
when you will do these things alone.
Will you recall the shoulder rides
and all the balls we’ve thrown?
I want you to grow stronger
than your Dad could ever be.
And when you find success
there will be no soul more proud than me.
So will you let me carry you?
One day you’ll walk alone.
I cannot bear to miss one day
from now until you’ve grown.
Can I Carry You ? – © Brad Anderson – Growing Up Poems