Holding them when they cry.
Feeding them when they are hungry.
Kissing them when they are hurt.
We put layers of protection onto our kids while they are young to prepare them for when those layers begin to come off.
A grandparent passes away.
A dog dies.
A risk must be taken.
At twelve years old my son and I are beginning to remove the layers. Some slowly and with discussion and others quick as if to ease the pain...like a bandaid.
While I can no longer cling to him that doesn't mean I have to completely let him go. Rather, I can simply be present, stay close, and hold space for those moments that he does need only his mama. They are getting fewer and farther apart, but they are still there. And when those moments come they are pure treasure.
In this space I hold for him I'm learning more about who I am. I'm drawing more near to God. I'm becoming the person he needs me to be right now. Preparing for who he will need me to be in the future. For one-third of my life he's been in it and we are approaching the time where parent becomes friend, acquaintance, sharer of a mutual experience.
I'm becoming not just the mother he was born to, but the mother he would have chosen had he been given the choice. What honor he is gifting me.
I'm laying down the fear that the adult relationship with my son will be any less or more distant than the relationship I will have with my daughters. No stage of life is better or more rewarding than another-it's how we approach them that matters.
I'm thankful for the young man he is becoming. Thankful to be his mama. Honored to be preparing him for everything the world has waiting for him.
Happy birthday my sweet boy.