"Look how big my baby is! Make him stop!"
"For real!!!! He is so big! :("
"I know. :-( He's halfway to twenty! My mind can't handle that!"
I mean, 10 years old. TEN YEARS! My relationship with him is the longest relationship I have ever been in. Our relationship has taught me how to not run away from my problems, and how to stand up for myself, by forcing me to stand up for him first. We've been through a lot together, with me growing up right alongside him at times.
I won't lie, the thought of being less close with him one day already breaks my heart. It can be easy to dwell on the day when he will walk off and leave the home we've shared together to make a life all his own. Just this afternoon he literally tried to walk 25 miles home, sandwich in hand, because he was bored being at work with me. Thankfully I was able to catch him at the exit from the neighborhood and convince him to wait to drive home with me a couple hours later.
I think the fear of the day our children will embark on their own path without us can cloud our parenting judgment. We may worry we haven't prepared them enough, so we make choices based in fear instead of love. We may try to parent for the future instead of parenting in the moment. We may push our children away in an effort to toughen them up or harden our own hearts to make the inevitable separation easier.
But when we do that we rob ourselves, and our children, of a beautiful and needed connection in the moment.
Josh and I spent the evening watching a movie and eating ice cream on the couch. When it was time for bed, he asked to sleep in my room with me. I agreed, and we chit chatted and cuddled for a bit. I did my best to breathe in every moment of it. Right on cue, Josh told me he was too warm cuddling and rolled to the edge of his side of the bed.
No need for me to push him away. No need for me to push him to "grow up" any faster than he already is. There will come a day when he no longer wants to chat and cuddle in bed with me. I don't want to miss the last day he does want to. I don't want to miss the last time he wants to hold my hand while we walk together.
My hope is to keep myself in the now, to appreciate exactly who my sons are each moment, and to parent them for where they are that day, always from a place of love instead of fear. I don't have time for fear. These moments will be gone in the blink of an eye.