My world got turned upside down this morning, and it happened with a simple touch to my child’s back.
As I was waking my now 7 ½ year old (that ½ is VERY important) Ben up this morning, I rubbed his back. For a brief moment I flashed forward to that back no longer being that of a little boy’s but a young man’s. For some reason this morning his back felt so broad under my hand. I could feel the muscles contracting, and for just a split second that back felt more like a man’s than a boys… and I realized I don’t have a baby anymore… and it broke my heart a little.
How did we all of a sudden get to 7 years old? How in the world have I been a parent for almost a decade?!?
I still feel like I’ve just entered this huge Olympic size pool of parenting, and all I’ve done so far is dip my toe into the water. Yet here I am, with a 7½ year old and as of today, a 4 year old… happy birthday Joey!
I’m losing my babies. I don’t have little, little kids anymore. It’s no longer a three ring circus when we leave the house: no bottles, diaper bags, extra clothes, etc… It’s just a two ring circus now… chasing boys, grabbing coats and backpacks, and we’re out the door. These are HUGE milestones. I savor them, but today I’m missing those babies of mine.
But here’s the thing I realized in that brief moment this morning: these boys have never really been mine, they haven’t been mine since they left the cocoon of my body. All this work, time, energy, worry, and love that I put into parenting my boys every day doesn’t mean they are really mine: they are their own people, with their own path to find and walk. I’ve just been honored and blessed with the privilege (and the frustration) of raising them so they can leave some day and walk strongly, with confidence and grace into the life they are meant to live.
So every milestone we reach in our home is also a little goodbye, a little goodbye to what was, but I’m hoping I have the strength and the wisdom to embrace the hello of a new day .