parenthood

When Your Baby Boy Grows Up

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“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

{From the children’s book, Love You Forever.}

“Mom?” our eleven-year old son says tentatively as I enter his room at bedtime.

Yes?”

You know how we have our little talks at bedtime?

Yes?

Well, I really think I am too old for those now. So….goodnight.

I pause, fighting the urge to argue, plop my big hinnie down on his bed and demand he talk to me. My nighttime chats with my first-born something I always look forward to. Kind of a gentle ending to typically crazy day. Trust me, our conversations are rarely deeper than “how was your day?” or “what was your favorite part of your day?” But still, I look forward to that quiet one-on-one time with my boy.

I stare at him for a second and try very hard to not let my hurt feelings show. I know it’s silly for me to take this personally because the reality is, he’s not my baby anymore.

Well, he is…but he isn’t.

At 5′ 3″ and 128 pounds he’s almost as big as my husband and he wears the same size shoe as me. He now sports the startings of a moustache, something we affectionately call his “bro-stache,” and as much as I want him to stay little forever…I know he won’t.

So I smile bravely, I wish him good night, close the door behind me, and slip off go to our room to have an a bit of an ugly cry. I know there will be more milestones like this so I silently chide myself to “toughen up.” The time is coming very soon where he will  need me less and less. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, and in that moment, I decide reality sucks sometimes.

Jake is our oldest, but I also like to say he is my savior. He rescued me from a time in our life that was filled with sadness, disappointment and infertility tests. He came to me in a moment when we were about to give up, an unexpected gift from “someone else’s tummy.” He was, and still is, my confidence.

As joyous as we were to finally be parents, he was not an easy baby. During the endless months of colic, asthma, excessive clinginess and night terrors, my husband would always tell me, “some day you will miss this.” At the time, I thought he was full of crap, now as that “day” is on the horizon….yeah I am going to miss all of that.

I am missing it already.

Jake

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