Thursday, October 25, 2012
I love this boy.
I love him fiercely.
He is my first child, I was a single mom, and when he was born I was so overwhelmed with joy and love it was as if I was seeing everything for the first time.
Our family was just the two of us and the "You and I face the world" mentality made us incredibly close. I was the only one allowed to hug him, put him to bed, make his macaroni and cheese. He would always sit on my lap, hold my hand, want me by his side for everything, and looked to me for my wisdom about everything. At bed time he would say things like "I love you 60-40-100" and "Thanks mom, you are the best."
Then, fourteen happened. It happened, as I was warned it would, overnight. We went from cuddle time every night, where I would lay in his bed and talk about all kinds of important things, like God and Iron Man, to "No thanks, I am good - you don't need to come up." (Sound of record screeching...) What? What do you mean I don't have to come up? How are you going to sleep without me adjusting Tiggy just the right way? Will you even think about what your favorite part of the day and your least favorite part of the day was - and what you did that was nice, if we don't have the three questions? What about a Red Talking Car story that I make up? What about your sense of triumph when I fall asleep in your bed and you get extra cuddle time? YOU CAN’T DO THIS WITHOUT ME!!!!!
Then a soft echo of my own voice came into my head, it was me saying "You can do this without me" as I gently encouraged him to order his own food at a restaurant or make his own macaroni and cheese - or, in what I think was the final push into manhood - get on a plane this summer when he was fearful and wanted me to come with him and hold his hand. I knew he could do it, as he had many times before and I wanted him to be strong. He got on the plane and I was overwhelmingly proud of him - he did it without me! He did it without me!
He did it without me. Oh my God, what have I done?
I know this is my goal, I know I want him to continue to be the strong, independent man he is on track to be. I want him to have all the confidence an amazing young guy should have, I want him to believe in himself and take life by the balls - so why am I crying as I write this?
I am crying because it is a loss. Every day when I see him, it is as if there is a new boy that has taken his place - and I like this new boy a lot, but yesterday's boy is lost to me forever. When I see pictures of any moment in the past I think "This is precious - wonderfully precious. Did I realize it in the moment the picture was taken?" The answer is yes, and no, and that it doesn't matter. Even when you appreciate each moment you still feel a loss when you no longer have it.
My sweet puppy-eyed boy who needs me for everything is gone and now I have a 14 year old boy who rolls his eyes at me and criticizes me for the first time and no longer thinks I am the Master of the Universe. I have a young man who's feet are bigger than mine and who probably knows algebra better than I do and we no longer live in a world where I know where he is and what he is doing every moment of every day. I drove a car full of his friends to a corn maze the other day and I was so charming - there were pearls of wisdom and humor spilling forth from my mouth as I effortlessly showed them all how ultimately cool 42 can be. I liked the same music they did and I was as funny and hip as ever, which is why I was a little surprised to find four teenage boys just staring at me and the only sound in the car was the faint chirp of crickets.
14 is a whole new world. There may be a time in the future when I become cool again - but it is definitely not right now. This is good and right, and just as it should be - but my heart is broken and I would give anything for one more night of cuddle time and to spend the day with the boy who sang "Puff the Magic Dragon" for me for my birthday last year, just like he did when he was 2.
"One grey night it happened, Jackie Paper came no more..."
Posted by Girl on Saturday at 4:23 AM