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January 10, 2009

Releasing Apron Strings and Heartstrings

Apron_strings I’ve just hit an unexpected life change.  My son just turned 5.  It fills my heart that he is happy and fun and healthy.  But rather quickly he is changing, and it’s been giving me a moment’s hesitation that turns into a lump in my throat…

He calls me ‘mom’ now, not ‘mommy’ (unless he’s hurt or very tired).  He wanted tie shoes, not velcro, when we went to the shoe store recently.  He’s picking out his own clothes to wear (I realize this happens much younger with girls, but boy moms know- guys don’t care what they wear).  He’s becoming more independent and his own little man, and my first and overwhelming thought is: Thank Goodness. 

We all want our children to grow up and develop into their own people… But this is a little tough.

I can’t spell things anymore that I don’t want him to understand.  The number of questions he asks in a day is astronomical.  His questions are cool and most times, pretty insightful, as only a youngster looking at the world with a fresh perspective can do.  And I love this, and I love him.

And yet, my heart is a little heavy, just a little…  When I look at his profile, I can see the man he is becoming.  I really see what he is going to look like now.  I see a little man.  And then I start thinking, ‘Someday he may have the weight of the world on his shoulders… and he is my little boy.’

And then I think, ‘How will I protect him?  I always want to be here to give him a hug when he needs it.’  And then it hit me why I’ve been feeling that lump in my throat lately:  I can’t protect forever.  He’s going out into the world little by little, even now.

All I can do is try my best everyday to give him knowledge, guidance and encouragement and love and support, so that he can start to make his own decisions.

I have heard so many times from moms, in movies, and even read in cards, how hard it is seeing your kids grow up and how quickly they do before your eyes…  It’s truly wonderful to watch him grow and mature, but I do have to admit: no matter how many times I’ve heard it from other people, it is a little hard when you see your child transform from a toddler into a little man, who has his friends and cares about what he wears and calls you mom, not mommy.

A couple of months ago I ran into a friend of slightly older boys who was lamenting her sons’ choice of Transformers costumes for Halloween; I looked at her puzzled and she replied,

“Last year, they were penguins.”  I’m getting what she was saying. 

This past Halloween my son was Winnie-The-Pooh.  I think my days of cute Halloween costumes are gone.  But, life always gets better and the best is yet to come, right?  I’ll be able to do more things with my son now that he is getting older and wiser…

Just hope my apron strings and heartstrings can take it.

Original DC Metro Moms Post

When Nicole isn’t swallowing that lump in her throat, she likes to concentrate on the good stuff at BananaBlueberry.


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