There has been a sudden change in my household between my son and I. He is 12 now and not quite a teenager, but certainly not a small child. He’s a great kid. He makes good grades and doesn’t give us any trouble, but we are suddenly butting heads, he and I, over everything and nothing.
“Don’t forget to give this money to your teacher first thing.”
….”OH-KAYYYYY MOM!!!! (insert eye roll here)”
“How was your day”?
….”It. was. fine.” (insert eye roll here)
Mom sings corny 80’s song on the radio…..son gives the stare of death. (insert eye roll here)
I have officially reached that sweet spot of parenthood. I am no longer cool or relevant. My job is to provide and step to the side, or so he likes to think. If I had a dollar for every time he rolled his eyes and got exasperated with me, I’m quite sure I could run away and return when he outgrows this stage. Not that I would. I’ve waited his whole life to get to this stage and I’m not going out like that!
I can remember when I thought my own parents weren’t cool. I’d get huffy and mad and thought they were just soooo out of touch with reality. I rolled my eyes with the best of them and muttered under my breath about how they treated me like a baby and how I would never do that to my own kid. Now, when I see that my son is in THAT sort of mood, it’s usually one of two things. He’s either really tired or hungry. Feeding him and making him get some sleep works wonders. I know he’s growing up and it’s time for me to step back. Not that I was ever one of those helicopter moms, but I am one to ask a million questions and I’ve just had to realize that I don’t need to ask so many.
But it’s tough, knowing when to press for more information and when to back off because I don’t have to know every single detail anymore. It’s tough realizing that your kid doesn’t need you to do every little thing for them anymore. His burgeoning independence is a blessing and a heartache for this mama all at once. I mean, thank Jesus we can do our own homework, dress ourselves, and take care of our own self care. But at the same time, I sometimes miss tying little shoes, zipping up little coats and holding little hands as we walk.
And just about the time that I think about this too much and start feeling like he doesn’t need me for anything anymore, he comes up and gives me a hug right out of nowhere and tells me he loves me. He might also remind me that he needs a random, hard to find item to bring to school tomorrow (it’s 9:30 pm when he tells me this) and by the way, there’s no more toilet paper in his bathroom.
Clearly, I am still needed for something.