Motherhood has been a series of life-changing moments for me. I find myself at a precipice whenever my son reaches another milestone. When he took his first steps, I knew my days of holding him close to me were at an end. When he started school, I wondered if I had taught him enough to have a fair start.
This fall when he started middle school, my heart lurched. I was transported back to my own middle school days. Memories of awkwardness and being an outcast filled my mind with fear. My little man is so much like me, would he also be picked on for always having his nose in a book?
And today, another milestone. He turns 13.
No longer is he “kiddo” or “Joey-Baloney.” He is a teenager.
My heart is filled with pride at the wonderful human he is becoming even while my anxiety is causing that heart to race. I know the next milestones are big ones. Dating, driving, graduation. I think I felt as long as he was still not-yet-a-teenager, I could pretend these big moments would never come. Or at least that they were very far away.
Alas, they might still be years away, but those years will speed by with football games and pep rally bonfires. After school dances and his first crush. More “hang-outs” and less sleep-overs. Movies that scare and thrill instead of Cars and Monsters, Inc.
As much as I know this is the natural progression of things, my heart aches to hold my little boy once again. I want to protect and shield him, and keep him all to myself. I want to see him perched on the step stool at my side while we mix up a batch of M&M cookies.
Even while I’m clinging to the past, I am excited for his future. He’s a good student who gets great grades. He has an inquisitive mind and a way of looking at things that gives me hope for his generation. He has big plans of enlisting into the US Air Force and following in the footsteps of his grandfather and aunt. He’s going to do great things.
So here’s to another milestone reached. I am now the mother of a teenager. Someone hold me…