......... the moment I have been dreading since the first little stick showed two lines. Tomorrow we officially enter the teen years. Duh duh duh.
Funny thing is, standing on the threshold of my greatest maternal fear, I am excited as all get out. I was sure I would never get over the baby stage, or the toddler stage (and I haven't, for the record. I could still go for two or three more....) but in the last few years, I have fallen in love with teenagers. I am so excited to parent my kids through the exciting years between childhood and adulthood.
It helps that I actually like the people my kids are becoming. I mean, I really enjoy their company and conversation. The fact that my son can already beat me at chess and talk philosophy only makes him more interesting to hang out with. The reality that he has his very own ideas that I didn't help put there is fascinating!
Certainly, it's not all roses. We had a moment recently that gave me some indication things were changing. Rather than come to the musical shindig that we have always enjoyed together as a family, Levi wanted to go hang out with some friends for the afternoon. His definition of relational time well spent is branching off from mine. I may have reacted a little poorly in the moment, but I wasn't ready for that just yet. I will learn. Slowly, but I will.
In all of the other crazy life changes that are going on around here at the Marriott house, I didn't want to miss the significance of this one. My son is growing up. It has suddenly become a tangible reality that he is closer to manhood than infancy and I don't want to miss these milestones anymore than I would have missed his first steps or first words.
I love him as fiercely, as completely, and as unrelentingly as I did the day he was born, but something new is rising up. I am beginning to respect him. Not the kind of general respect you should give to everyone regardless of age. I respect him in the way a person earns it, by who they are and the integrity they posses. I am losing my cheeky, brainy, little boy, day by day, but I am also slowly getting to know my grown son who is evolving even as the little boy disappears. What a heart-wrenching, yet delightful gift.
Tomorrow, my son will be 13, and I am totally excited about that. :)