“Hey Mom, what’s up,” he asked casually as he sauntered into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, and began scanning the shelves.
“Hey bud, whatcha looking’ for?” I could swear he just ate 15 minutes before.
“A snack,” he said followed quickly by the unmistakable sound of a string cheese wrapper being pulled apart.
“Didn’t you just eat?” I laughed and glanced over my shoulder, momentarily shocked that the person standing there had little resemblance to the little boy I swear he was just months before.
“I love ya mama!” he said before wrapping his arms around me and lifting me off the ground.
“Whoa bud!” I warned as my feet landed back on the ground. “Please don’t pick me up.”
“Why not?” A look of true bewilderment filled his still boyish face.
“Boundaries dude,” I wrapped my arms around his broadening shoulders and gave him a squeeze. “Kids aren’t supposed to pick up their parents.”
“Whatever,” he said with a quick laugh as he walked toward the living room. “Love you!”
“I love you more!” I called back standing momentarily stunned at the kitchen island soaking in the incontrovertible fact that we’d entered a new phase of our mother/son relationship.
The days are long but the years are short. – I don’t know who first said it, but I’ve been reading it a lot lately.
I don’t remember ever seeing the saying before I became a mom. And now it seems to be popping up everywhere – Facebook, Twitter, overlaid on Instagram photos.
Maybe it’s just suddenly hitting a little too close to home. In what feels like the blink of an eye my seven pound newborn is now a five foot tall 11 year old.
Gone are the days of carrying his sleeping body to bed when he falls asleep in the car. Gone too is my ability to scoop him up and away from danger. And all too soon, gone will be the opportunity to lean down and kiss the top of his head as he stands next to me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m enjoying the benefits that come with having an older kid – he doesn’t need constant supervision, only occasionally has to be reminded to wash his hands, and he can get himself a snack.
And we haven’t hit the teen years yet. Luckily he’s still willing to hang out with me in public (even when we accidentally dress like twins), and even pulls himself away from the Xbox from time to time to sit down next to me for a snuggle. Most importantly, he still indulges me allowing me to tuck him in at night and cover his soft cheeks with kisses.
But there’s a part of me – a bigger part lately than usual – that feels the years of being a mom to a little boy went by too fast.