My 10 year old sat snuggled up next to me this morning. We sit this way for a few minutes most mornings, but on a Sunday we aren’t in any rush, so we can all relax together for quite a while. The littlest boy thinks I’m only his to sit next to or on, but always at some point he leaves (for some cereal, or a drink or just to run around like a crazy child) and then my oldest slides into the right-next-to-mom position. He sneaks the remote control away and we all get to watch Zeke and Luther or Jessie or Wizards of Waverly Place. Sometimes he might even pick a cartoon like Phineas and Ferb, but look out for the scorn on his face if you dare suggest something a little younger, like the 4 yo’s beloved Max and Ruby. Appropriate tween show on the tv, he curls close to me, often dangling a leg over one of mine. It’s one of the few such moments of physical closeness left between us, parent and child. He allows hugs and kisses, especially at bedtime but NOT in front of his friends thank you very much. He still wants affection and touch, but he also wants us to know how independent he is. He is going to middle school next year after all. He’s not a little kid.
So I was pretty amazed the other day when we went for a family walk and my beautiful, big boy held my hand for a minute. Thank goodness daddy brought the camera, because these fleeting moments must be frozen in time for me to remember. I call him my big boy, but truly he’s on the verge of becoming so much more than a boy. He’s about to be more man than boy. He’s a tween, an almost teen, a person who is less “mine” every day, and more “his”.
When this boy was a baby, people always commented about how fast the baby years flew by. I didn’t think they went that fast, even now, looking back, those years were long. But now? The days have sped up, the years have sped up. That boy who is my first, my oldest, a big, huge piece of my heart, is moving away from me as surely as any boy eventually grows up and away from his mom. But no matter how guaranteed that growing up process is, for just now, for this moment, the almost teen still loves to be close to me. When no one is watching 😉Image © Laurie Runs Life, 2012