Every year December 1st comes around and reminds me that my kid is another year older, another year of his childhood – gone.
Nine. Nine years old. Which means I started brewing him like ten years ago. To think I’ve committed myself to something for that long is impressive – I mean… I know he’s my kid and all – but shit. TEN YEARS?!
I lay in bed at night and wonder if I’ve done anything that he will resent me for later, or even now. We’ve reached an age where everything is rememberable (I made that word up). My kid’s memory is insane. What is he going to throw in my face when he’s 16? What does he have in his back pocket? What could we have done this past year, experienced or changed that would have shaped him differently?
Good Lord, what have I fucked up?
Parents with small children – enjoy the mulligans while you can. Soon they will be 8 years old and throw in your face that time two years ago when you said we could do that one thing, after that happened – and it’s all happened…
SO WHY AREN’T WE GOING?!
The last few Decembers that have passed I’ve tried to wrap my head around the concept of raising a big kid, rather than a little kid. It’s a really weird transition. I have to tell myself, or my husband looks at me with an, are-you-fucking-serious? look… to allow my totally-capable-kid do his thing – whatever it is. If he succeeds on the first try – great. If it takes him 45 minutes and nothing has been accomplished – okay. If he blows the house up… at least he tried to do it on his own. Life Experiences!
The best difference is instead of helping, teaching and taking pride in watching the light bulb click, I’m sitting back and taking in his pride for being able to do this, that and the other on his own. There is nothing in the world I love more than the smirk my kid gets when he has accomplished something, especially when I wanted nothing more than to either a.) do it myself or, b.) tell him how to do it.
A lot of things have changed in 9 years, thankfully, some of my favorite things things have stuck around. He still wants me to tuck him into bed. He still blows me kisses from across the school field when I drop him off in the morning for school. He still lets me call him any obnoxious nickname I can think of. He still wants me to read to him. He still wants to hang out with me – and that’s awesome.
Every year has given me a variety of things to feel bittersweet about. At this point, we’re half way to 18 – but I’m not ready to wrap my head around that quite yet. Double digits next year…