Sometimes when I wake him I forget how much he’s grown. In the dim light of morning, I see him snuggled under the sheet with only his head showing, and I think on his little voice that used to ask for snuggles after I’d read to him before sleep.
When He Calls Me "Mom"
April 5, 2011 2 Comments
And then he wakes to my “good morning” and says “hi, Mommy” as he stretches. But the voice is now deep and the previously curled up ball of his limbs and torso emerge to reveal long arms and legs and 13-year-old hands that dwarf mine. Then he smiles, showing another departure from youth. Braces now cover the top row of teeth, altering the grin I was so used to, and in the increasing light creeping into his room I see the field of soft dark hairs above his lip and on his chin begging for a razor. My boy is growing tall and strong. Muscles are becoming more defined where once there was baby fat. I see the physical signs of his growth constantly now.
We still read together at night by the light of his lamp. And sometimes he asks “can we talk for a little while?” where he’ll share his dreams or what he’d like to spend his allowance on or a joke. And he’s growing even still, but this time it’s in manly things. My boy is growing in integrity and becoming a gentleman. My mothering is changing again as he spends more time with his dad and a little less with me. And my heart hurts a bit even while cheering him on.
It comes as a surprise, like a Florida sun-shower. Like when we’re around others and he calls me by a strange new name – when he calls me “Mom” – that I feel the growing pains sprinkling on my heart.
I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, if I threw up my hands and shrugged and said “whatever.” This boy is part of my heart. I carried him inside of me, waited breathlessly in a sensitive pregnancy for the ultrasound tech, who proclaimed “the baby looks good” and “you’re having a boy.” For my son I learned to embrace boy culture for the first time, something new and foreign to a female raised in a house full of girls. For this boy, who is so like me in temperament that I giggle as well as cringe, I would do anything and go anywhere.
I know this is what he needs. I know that growth is good even while the hurt is still real. Without growth people become stagnant and stunted. But with it you see independence and responsibility. This man-cub is moving toward his future. I ponder over what that could bring, his “future.” Learning… falling in love… marriage… travel… children… adventure… leadership…
So as he changes so will I. Why? For him. Because I see the leader in him and the possible vastness of his reach. I see his potential and want him to succeed. Because in the growth I see goodness and truth.
Growth always brings change, and often times pain tags along, but greatness emerges from that as well. There will be more change for him even after he has left our nest to make his own. And in my heart I embrace his future for that is good.