My boy’s growing up.
I have to say it’s taken me by surprise and I’m running to catch up, wondering how to walk the tightrope that is trying to balance his need for independence with my desire for offering him the care, and closeness, I always have.
Parenting is a journey of constant learning, constant reflection.
Wondering whether you’re doing the right thing, cursing yourself for not saying exactly the right thing, trying to anticipate their needs as far as possible whilst trying to remember to live in the moment and enjoy them as much as possible because they grow – and change – a little every single day.
Every day I get glimpses – tastes – of the person he’s becoming and it startles me with the sheer brilliance of its radiance. He’s a little pot of talent and potential, waiting to burst forth in to the world.
He comes home, running, to tell me about Google Earth, how he’s using PowerPoint and learning to code – “I’m going to make an app, Mama”. He sits and draws for hours, intricate, delicate, life-filled imaginary worlds. Is spellbound (as was I) by the Bridge of Taribithia. And Yoko the Yeti. Loves his sister fiercely, argues with her over the silliest things, makes it up to her in the sweetest of ways.
After football, if they’ve lost, he’ll bring his bad mood home with him, complaining his drawings don’t come out as he imagined, picking over favourite foods he normally wolves down. If they’ve won, his joy knows few bounds.
I could watch him all day, this boy of mine. All day every day and never get bored.
He’s so alive. So human. So true. So noble.
He feels every emotion, throws caution to the wind, lives in awe of the world.
He teaches infinite numbers of things in infinite ways.
When he tells me, “Mama, don’t worry, I can”, I need to listen to what he’s telling me.
He’s giving me a taste of what life will be like when he’s all grown up.
Childhood is fleeting. You can see it pass in time-lapse photos taken years apart*. You can feel it pass in the change of interests, of responses, of the intensity, and frequency, of cuddles. I need to learn to embrace the ephemeral nature of it, to learn to drink the moments in as they come, to appreciate everything while I can.
Parenthood. A lesson in living mindfully.
[This was written as part of 31 days of moving on: today’s word Taste. I wrote for 9 minutes]
*Thanks, Mum, for sending me the photos I’d emailed you all those many moons ago!