Bye Bye Baby

A terrible thing has happened. It all started when I blinked. Never do that around your kids. I blinked, and when I opened my eyes, my oldest kiddo had turned into a fully fledged adolescent.

As some of you know, our life has taken a dramatic left turn this month anyways because I (THE MOM) have gone back to university. That’s when the blinking happened. I have been feeling a little wobbly since the beginning of September, but chalked it up to all the life “stuff” going on right now. That seemed a reasonable explanation. But then, just this week, it all became clear because I opened my eyes… and there, coming towards me, with arms full of binders, schedules, team practice times, fundraisers, and a trumpet, with stories of new friends, HILARIOUS jokes (sarcasm friends, deep sarcasm), and an appetite that could rival an elephant, was a young man.

Cole - First day of middle school
First day of middle school

I thought I recognized him. Isn’t that the boy who used to sit quietly in my lap while I read countless stories and sang songs we both loved? Isn’t that the one who gazed past me wishing to play with a group of kids but not sure how to ask? That boy… he used to lean on me. A lot. And I held him up. And you know what I realized as I watched that young man confidently walking towards me? He held me up a bit too. In my planning, my sense of purpose, my belonging.

That topsy-turvy feeling I’ve had of late? Well, I get it now. The floor has shifted beneath me just a little. My reality looks different. Only just slightly, but enough that I noticed. I am not in control of that little life as I once was.

So here’s what I have to say to you grown ups with Middle Schoolers in your house. Be brave. You are not alone. I’m here too… trying to sort out my own journey while anxiously watching over his (with just a little more distance). I am still “mama” (but they don’t call me that much anymore). I am still fiercely tender, devoted, and involved because like many of you mothering is not something I do, it’s something I am. But, as they grow, these beautiful gifts entrusted to me, I’ll need to find other ways to plug-in as “MOM.” And that’s different. A bit scary. But we can do it. Together.

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” – proverbs 22:6