I have five months.

Let’s see that doesn’t sound great, does it. Instead of thinking about what I might begin to lose in five months, I am challenging myself to think about what I am going to soak up and enjoy while it lasts. However long that may be.

Yes, it’s January. This kid has five more months of elementary school left. In eight months, he’ll head to middle school. If he didn’t have an older sister in middle school, I’d have no clue what’s ahead of me. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not bad.  Things just change. Something turns on and you can’t turn it off. Like those big moves from crawling to walking, napping to not napping…from being happy and content to thinking everything is…well, stupid. Their inability to move their facial muscles. Nothing moves. Now it’s not like this all of the time, but man. You better have a strong self esteem because the looks and comments that will fly your way can make YOU feel like a middle schooler again. Insecure and questioning, “Does this outfit really look that bad?” Shit, she’s right. It’s bad.

I know boys are different than girls. But I’m just getting mentally prepared. I’m a planner.

For the time being, here’s what I’m going to focus on and embrace:

  • listening to his 10-year old, high pitched voice
  • walking around looking like a toddler and not caring (face covered with whatever he just ate – how does it make it on his forehead? “Mom, we had cupcakes at school.” Thanks for the update, but your face tells the story.)
  • still trying to jump on my lap in a chair built for one
  • his chattiness
  • his ability to ask so many questions
  • random thoughts
  • listening to him rake through legos
  • his ability to create masks and body armor with cardboard boxes
  • jumping into my bed in the mornings (even though I know it’s to try to get to the iPad)
  • not having a phone – he still knows how to make eye contact
  • naivety
  • his level of excitement and pure joy over semi-ordinary things
  • maybe, kind of, sort of still believes in Santa. Or at least the Christmas spirit.

There are so many other things but these are just a few that I will focus on in the months leading to middle school. You never get that elementary school kid back. I know change is good. These kids need to evolve, right? But there’s just less “kid”.  Or maybe just more layers that make it tougher to get to that kid that we know still exists.

So here’s to continuing to do things and even more things that are “oh my god, so embarrassing.” This is the only way I know how to survive being a parent of a tween/teenager. Enjoy the ride. It’s no Bentley. But it’s an exciting one.

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. by Michelle on January 19, 2017  7:19 am Reply

    Kerry, I love this! As a son of two boys that are older than yours, it made me teary.

    It's so true, about occasionally gettting little glimpses of their younger, sillier, selves when they are teenagers. I love getting to see those glimpses in Alex (freshman in high school). Yes, it's only maybe once a day, but I'll take once a day right now. On a rare occasion, he will be that way for half a day. :).

    Both of my boys went through an awkward stage starting right before 9th grade. Very unsure of themselves, no confidence and struggled to be happy because of it. It didn't matter that they were smart, well liked, kids. They both were very insecure (Alex right now).

    Maybe yours won't go through the "I think everything my parents do is stupid" phase...Nicholas didn't. But Alex is embarrassed for his Mom to come around any time he is around friends at a school function, even though his friends are thrilled to see me and run up and hug me.

    Luckily, they grow out of it. I made it a point to "force" talking with the boys during this time. To "force" my hugs on them - to kind of make it a joke so they weren't so uneasy and make sure they knew I loved them during that awkward boy time, even if they were acting void of all emotion...like you said, no facial muscle movement. (Just the other day I wasn't feeling very well after work, and it was just me and Alex - he was sitting on the couch and I told him I was going to sit by him and snuggle - it's the only thing that would make me feel better. He just laughed and shook his head no, but he let me). Then he rubbed me on the back and said he hoped I felt better now :)

    There's great things that you gain when you lose your little boy. Nicholas, now in college, has grown into this great PERSON that I can be friends with. He appreciates my cooking when he comes home from school. He WANTS and CHOOSES to be with me and hang out with me instead of going anywhere else (even though his friends might come over too).
    They TRULY appreciate you when they get older. The hugs I get from them now are REAL, genuine, long, big squeeze hugs. They appreciate your opinion. You get to revel in the fact that you raised this amazing person. The pride you feel sometimes will overwhelm you. There are great things ahead for you with your son. I truly have felt it gets better and better even though there are things I miss about the younger stages.

    It's a great ride. I know you'll enjoy it! But hang on to those little boy things as long as you can! (Mine both still call me "mommy". Someone once said, "why don't you tell Nicholas to call you Mom???" I said, "because it's the last thing I have of him being little"

    • by Kerry on January 23, 2017  12:33 pm Reply

      Michelle, thanks so much for your message. So helpful and nice to hear about what you experienced and are experiencing. I really appreciate the time you took to write such a thoughtful message! You are a great mom. And that was certainly passed down from your mom. Love that they still call you mommy! Enjoy the last few years having Alex at home. I can't believe Nicholas is in college. Time flies. Miss you! Kerry

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