This morning, I am off to my older son’s moving up day to middle school. I must say that I am totally clueless how I got to this point so fast. I mean wasn’t it just yesterday that he was marveling over his green poop because he ate blue ice cream the day before?
Sorry JB, I promise to never write about your poop again now that you are officially a middle-schooler.
…But, seriously, how did we get here? From time to time, I still feel the ache in my tailbone where you cracked it during labor, or I think that I hear you crying wailing screaming for your bottle. I do not need a memory book or scrapbook to remember your first word (da-da), when you potty-trained (October, 2003), the first time you walked or rode a bike, or the very first time you read a book (which was ironically about potty training).
Over the last 11 and 3/4 years, you have loved me to pieces and hated me to death. I was the apple of your eyes when you had pneumonia and needed constant TLC, yet I was not so popular the summer between kindergarten and first grade when I had you read books and write a sentence on each one. Possibly now you see the merit in the project because you are such a strong, independent student that needs very little guidance from me.
Although the incidences of you not ‘liking’ me are more frequent, and I fear will only continue to escalate. At bedtime when I walk around the house collecting electronics and the infamous cel phone (that is begrudgingly not a smart phone), I just tell myself what my grandma used to say, ‘better they cry now than you cry later.’ You think that you are all grown-up, old enough to understand all the social mores, maturer than mature, and ready to handle the largest of responsibilities.
Believe me – I appreciate this attitude, but you are still JUST a middle schooler. Not a little boy, but also neither a teenager or grown man. You are something in between, a tween, or I think best said – in purgatory.
With hormones boiling and a strong desire for independence, you will undoubtedly succeed, but certainly not all at once. You will make mistakes and mess up, and it is my job to see that those mistakes are age-appropriate. The next few years will be full of pimples, crushes, messed-up assignments, puberty (yikes), and I am sure a prank phone call or two (if you guys still talk on phones by then).
I will make rules. Ones that you don’t like or cannot understand or appreciate more than likely until you are a parent yourself. I will also cheer like hell for you, whether it be on the basketball court or the game of life.
I often watch with awe at your determination to do exactly what you want to do and do it well. From the time you walked, your passion shined through all you did. I have watched you take on math with a vengeance, stick it to the kid who would not work with you on a group project because you were a ‘jock’ with a 100% solo on your own, feed your very own sandwich to the homeless man on the corner, take up soccer without playing in five years, and of course, spend countless hours on your basketball shot.
Yes, the tears are streaming as I write this, and I am probably squinting and making more wrinkles (a small reminder that I am also not the same age anymore), but I am sadly and excitedly the mom of a middle-schooler. I could scream Dammit! and Hooray! at the same time. Dammit! because, my precious first-born son is no longer my curly-haired cutie. Hooray! because I don’t have to get up at night and wipe your bum anymore…..but, I would go back to that in a heartbeat.
Thank you for letting me share this day and legacy with you – RB
Which events bring you to tears? and do you leave a written tribute behind?