In Between

Am I the only one who struggles with watching their kids grow up?  I am sure I am not, but people don't seem to talk about it a lot.  I see a lot of photos posted on Facebook with hashtags like #Wherehasthetimegone or #Pleasestopgrowing, but nobody really talks about how much it really affects them.  It has affected me a lot lately.  

My son might beat me up for this post, because his best friend's Mom is friends with me on Facebook, and there is a chance she might read this.  So, let me apologize to Z.....

-Sorry Z, but Mom needs to save these memories for when she gets older.  I don't want to forget them.  I love you, buddy.  Thanks for being awesome.  Love, Mom-

Okay, where do I start?  I guess we can go back to last Friday.  Z spent time with a couple of his best friends at one of his friend's house.  Two of his best buddies are moving to different states over the summer, and he has been upset for a couple of months.  The night of the last day of school he was heartbroken.  I remember his face.  I could tell that he was holding in so much.  He let out some tears in front of me and we talked about stuff, but after we said prayer and I shut his door, he let it all out.  The heavy sobs that no parent wants to hear.  True sadness.  I just sat outside his door and cried.  I wanted to go in and hug him, but I knew that he needed that time alone.  Sometimes we just need a good cry.  It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.

Back to last Friday - Z had an amazing time.  I am thankful that I connected with his pal's Mom so that we could get them together before they moved.  It was both good and bad.  Good, because he needed a day with them without school.  A day where they could talk and laugh and not worry about homework or how many minutes of recess were left.  It was also bad, because I knew that the wound was going to open again.  School had ended about two weeks prior, and he was starting to act like his happy self again.  That night he came home and was crushed.  I felt so bad for him, because I know how he feels.  It is hard to say....."I know how you feel." - I can almost hear him thinking "You have NO idea, Mom."  I really do know though.  When I was nine we moved from California to Arkansas.  I had to say goodbye to my best friend Anna, my step-Dad, and my brother.  It was awful, but I wouldn't be where I am if it wasn't for that day.  

That little visit aged my son a couple of years.  I went from having this 11 year old who had a bed full of stuffed animals, a pirate ship from when he turned 3, and a bat cave to an almost empty room.  Just Legos, one stuffed owl (from one of the friends that is moving), and some Minecraft stuff.  He talked about his friend's room.  He said her room was clean and the only toys she had were her Legos.  I remember him saying, "I am really childish, and I need to grow up."  My heart sank.  He felt like it was time for him to get rid of his toys and kid stuff.  Was I keeping him young?  Did I do something wrong?  No, he had just decided it was time to move to his next stage of life.....almost teenager.  Eww....I threw up in my mouth a little bit.  Is he really almost 12?  Okay, back on track!  

Our spare room, which was my Mom's room until a week and a half ago, now has a pile of stuffed animals, the pirate ship, and a bat cave.  I stared at it last night.  I will probably take a picture of it, because that is what I do.  It made me sad, but it also made me excited for him.  He is about to start the next journey in his life.  I know it is so hard being in that in between stage.  The "I am no longer a kid", but I am not a "teenager" stage.  It is hard.  Last Saturday night was also the last Mom smooch before bed.  I have always given him a peck on the lips after prayer, but I told him that he doesn't have to do that anymore.  Maybe society makes me feel weird for giving my son a smooch, or maybe it is just time to do away with them because he is getting older.  Maybe you think I am a weirdo for it, but that is okay, you do you and I'll do me.  He isn't getting out of a hug though, the hugs are permanent.  

Here's to my Mom friends who are struggling with their kids growing up.  It is okay to be sad, but we also have to be happy for them.  Encourage them, love on them, talk to them, and LISTEN to them.  This is by far the hardest phase I have went through with my son.  I thought that 5 was tough, nope!  This pre-teen stage is much harder, but it is also very rewarding.  :)  Having a pre-teen and a wild toddler is keeping me on my toes.  Please say a little prayer for me and I will say a little prayer for you.  Enjoy them when they are little and older.  I get so tired of people saying, "Enjoy them now, because it won't be that fun when they get older!" - That is bull.  Kids are fun when they are babies, toddlers, kids, pre-teens, and teenagers.....oh wait, I don't know about that yet.  :)  I might have a different blog post in a couple of years haha.  

Also, say a prayer for Z and his two friends and their families.  It isn't easy to move, but life happens and you have to do it.  Praying they are blessed beyond measure.  I am SO thankful for Facebook and Instagram, and for all of the other cool technology that exists today.  I know that Z will get to stay in contact with his pals, even though they will be miles apart.  I think they are all counting down to when they can drive, because they are already planning their trips to see each other.  

Hope all of you have a great day and a life full of wonderful memories!!  God bless you all!!

Love, Val