Thursday, October 15, 2015

Am I Losing You?

"Mom: I don't wanna hug anymore before school."

"Are you going to wear your Halloween costume to my school party? I'd rather you...not."


"I hate talking."

"NOBODY wears pants, therefore I'm not either. Shorts it is."

"None of my friends' moms do that."

"You're a mean mom. The worst mom ever."

"Grumpy count: Mom = 3, 072."

And don't even get me started on the "vocabulary" he's learned from fifth graders in before and after school care.

On that first one, we compromised after a heartfelt chat between fall's leaves and the glow of our neighbors' Halloween decorations. It was to be a quick hug and "love you" at home and a simple fist bump on the sidewalk at school drop off. What never reached agreement was the sign language for "love you" incorporated into the fist bump.

These days, it just seems like love is off the table.

It's been said a thousand times before that they grow up too fast. That once they hit Kindergarten it's a blink of an eye and you're waltzing them down the aisle, only to be heard from on major holidays. That they'll let go of your hand but never your heart. That they'll break your heart a million times over.

Damnit - they were right.

And certainly like everyone else I thought I had more time, that likely those nasty teen years you hear about are the first bought of embarrassment, brush offs and peers becoming family.

But my friends, I definitely thought I had more time than six.

I want to meet him halfway. I want to let him become whatever it is his heart is telling him to be. I want to believe people when they say this is a phase, that this is a normal part of development and is just happening a bit faster with an "advanced" child.  I want to be grateful for the incredibly kind, witty, bright young child he is in every moment, even the tough ones. I want to support him in this transition. I want to be less self-centered and know in deep down he does love and appreciate. I want this to be organic vs. the budding romance novel I've built in my mind. I want to laugh, share, experience joy, rinse and repeat. I want to feel more confident in faking a smile when someone says something like "you love them to let them go." I want to believe that this is love too, it just feels different than it did before.

And everyone once in awhile I want to hold his hand. Share a glance. Spend a quiet moment alone in which he shares something about his new world. Giggle until our sides hurt. To feel like it did when he never left my shadow for those first four almost five years.

So I'll keep trying. Because buddy, I miss you. And though I know it's selfish and not entirely true: I feel like in some ways, I'm losing you. It's not all the time - not even the majority of the time - but it's even the smallest amount of time I'm going to notice.

But I know you can't tell me if it's true. So for now I'll swallow my blue and do my best in quiet, confident ways that feel good to you too, that I love you.

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