I turned around, and my big kid became a tween.
It’s my fault, I guess. He’s had a cell phone—old school flip-style, where you have to use a number pad to text—for several years, since his first overnight school trip. I couldn’t bear to send him without some sort of lifeline. (For me, of course. I knew he’d be fine.) And although he’s had this phone since 4th grade, he’s never cared much about it, until I changed his school against his will.
I had many valid reasons for changing schools which I won’t go into here, because the important part is that I was stripping him of his friends in a very unjust (in his eyes) way. I suggested texting them to stay in touch, and suddenly I only saw the top of my son’s head as his eyes became glued to the cell phone.
Now, it’s a nice enough head and all. I’m rather fond of it, but I like his eyes and those endearing freckles across his nose a little bit more. The top of the head is not particularly good at expressions and looks basically the same every day. But I felt that texting would give him the ongoing connection which he craved.
In addition to introducing the pocket texting device, I have been pushing him to bond more with the kids he knows at the school he will be attending this fall, and I also am making a point to continue to support his friendships with his friends at the old school. In other words, my kid is never home.
This is my fault. I’m the one who inadvertently pushed him into that whole “my friends are my life” thing. Well, he had a bit of it, I just gave him encouragement. To further his ascent into tweendom, I bought him a bike so that he can go visit his friends without me, because I am inherently a very lazy person.
Except that whole “go places without your mother” idea is way more appealing to him than I anticipated. He’s all in for ditching me and his little brother, which I support in theory, but not so much in practice.
I miss him. He’s quickly riding off into the world without me—which is as it should be at his age—but I didn’t think I’d feel lonely to be left behind.
Oh sure, it’s fine for his little brother to miss him, but mothers are supposed to be tough. We want our children to take the next step towards independence, except some of us don’t really entirely want them to leave us behind. I was unprepared for this, even though I instigated it.
He’s skipping a grade in school this year, and suddenly it’s as if he’s jumped up in maturity to match it. His tooth fell out, and he didn’t mention the tooth fairy. He went on a sleepover and didn’t bring his pillow pet or teddy bear. He suddenly has an opinion on clothing. I’m not sure what happened between May 30th and June 6th, but it feels like he grew up an entire year in the course of a week, and I love it and hate it all at the same time.
Everyone says children grow up fast. I just never thought it would be quite this quickly.
Copyright © 2018 Lara Lillibridge
Public domain imagery courtesy of Snappygoat.com