I am officially the mother of a teenager! My oldest child is now thirteen! I’m not sure who is supposed to feel older. Me or him? I just don’t know where all the years have gone?! It seems like just yesterday I brought him home from the hospital, muddled through those first days of diaper changes, late night nursing, watched him take his first steps, took him to his first day of preschool, and then Kindergarten. Now he’s beginning to look like a man! He’s taller than me. He has hair in all kinds of new places. He can outrun me. And he will be entering high school in less than a year! Why oh why do they have to grow up so fast?
Thirteen years ago I was anxiously awaiting a very overdue baby boy who was taking his sweet time in making his grand entrance into this world. I was also dreading labor and delivery. As a first time mom you never really know what you’re in for when labor begins. It was the longest ten hours of my life at the time. As I look back now, it just seems like I was a baby myself when he was born. I had no idea how inept I was, nor how much more I would grow up myself.
I’m not willing to admit what age group I myself am barreling towards at what seems like lightning speed, but I will say I know I’m getting closer to the end of my childbearing years. And with that I’m learning to navigate this new phase of life with a teenager, tween, an elementary age, and preschool age child. I’m beginning to leave infant car seats behind and replace them with tons of sports gear, smelly bedrooms, and pubescent attitudes. My husband and I are learning the ropes so to speak with new hormonal behavior from the oldest. And we’re beginning to have those oh so important conversations about boys vs girls.
I don’t feel like I’m old enough to have a teenager at all! The one thing that I have embraced is how much I enjoy being with my teenager. Everyone said this was the phase of life that we would hate each other. They said “you won’t be able to stand being around him when he gets to this age.” I will admit though, they aren’t entirely wrong. I have days when I wonder who this alien child is that seems to have replaced my once compliant, easy going kid that never doubted my authority, nor back talked. He really was a “perfect” child.I can say this, I still love hanging out with him. I can understand why many parents turn into friends of their kids at this age. It’s a slow fade, but I see how it happens. There are many times I’ve had to remind him who’s boss, but it’s fun being able to share my sense of humor with him. It’s great having a running partner! I love that we can joke and converse on almost the same level. I love sharing my heart with him. I love having conversations spiritually speaking and I don’t feel like I have to make it a Sunday school lesson to get my point across.
I definitely do not feel like I’m old enough to be the mother of a teenager, but most days my growing patches of gray hair tell me otherwise.