Thursday, April 23, 2009

Oh, dear. It's starting!

OK, he's eleven years old. He's at the end of fifth grade. He's getting bigger muscles and growing up and soon his voice will start changing, and the next thing I know - he'll beat me at arm-wrestling. Joshua is not my "little boy" anymore, and I have been anticipating this next step. I just didn't think it would happen. Yet.

Feeling lost or confused? Let me explain.

It has always delighted me that Joshua would give me hugs and kisses to say goodbye to me - even in front of his friends. When I put him on the bus last year, he always hugged me in the presence of all the other kids. And this year when we have walked to school in the morning he would still hug me, even when there were other people around.
The past two days that we walked to school, however, one of Joshua's fifth grade buddies has walked with us. When we got to school Joshua just said, "Bye, Mom!" and went inside. And that was OK with me. Actually, I thought it was kind of cute. I thought to myself, Yes. Joshua is growing up. He doesn't want a hug and kiss from his mom in the presence of his friend. And I'm OK with that.
But Wednesday, Zack didn't walk with us. And when we got to school, Joshua just called out, "Bye, Mom!" and kept going. No Zack. But no hug and kiss, either.
And I thought, Oh, dear. It's starting. Maybe it wasn't Zack. Maybe Joshua is just ready to start separating from me a little more.
But I still remember the day he was born! Can he really be ready to take another step in growing up? Am I ready???

Yikes! One day I wake up to the reality that I'm a mother of a teenager (Did I mention Elizabeth turned 13 recently?) and the next day my first born son is taking another step toward independence.
This is God's design. It's all good. I just pray I will move into our new stage gracefully.

Anyway, he hasn't completely cut me off. He still likes me to sing him a song at bedtime and play with his hair. And he still likes to ride with me on Wednesday nights.
Though I imagine that'll come to an end someday, too. *sigh*

Yes, LORD. It's starting. Joshua is stretching his wings a little more, playing with the idea of taking flight one day. Father, I thank You for the struggles You have brought us through with that boy. Some days I have thought I wouldn't make it. But You have been faithful. Always.
And I trust You for the days and years to come. I trust You to make Joshua into the man You have planned for him to be. I trust You to prepare the way for Joshua, to make his path level, and to shape him for your glory.
Father, please help me to mother him wisely and with grace. Please help me to know when to let go and when to hold on, and please help me to cling to Your love through it all.
I need You, Lord. Can't do this without You!!!

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luvmy4sons said...

On my dashboard I get just the first few words of someone's new post...and at "the next thing I know"...I finished with: he will be puffing out his chest and challenging every direction you make to him...BUT that wasn't in your post. I am just having a chuckle at your expense. Sorry my friend. I remember when I first noticed the pulling away from the hugs and kisses...I remember when my last one stopped holding my hand...It WILL get very different. But it is still good. And God will get you through it. And remember you have a comrade in arms with whom you can come and vent any time. I love your mother's heart and your prayer. Blessings to you today.

My ADHD Me said...

I remember the same thing with JM. You're happy but melancholy at the same time.
Little Alberquando hasn't clipped his wings yet. He's always had a very tight grip, but any day now I'm sure....

Jessica said...

Oh no,no,no,no! I don't want to think about my sons getting bigger, not wanting to hug me. I think I'll have to resort to briber. You know, the whole, "You can have a homemade cookie if you give me a hug" deal. :-)

Nicole said...

Karen, your writing is so eloquent and beautifully expressed. I am encouraged by you constantly relying on God to help you through this journey called Motherhood. "Father, help me to mother him wisely and with grace" - loved that! I have trouble sometimes in prayer, "speaking" to God, so I may use that. Thanks! :)

Proverbs 27:19 said...

Karen, Anton is having a hard time as well with our oldest growing up, and she is only 5! I've got to let him read this post and "Love Abounds at Home" as well.

Your post is similar to hers.


God's girl said...

Ah yes, thank goodness for those bedtime moments where we are the only one who can "tuck in" just right, and say the right things, and stroke their hair in the right direction...

My,-in-4-days,-9-year-old still loves hugs and kisses, but my 12-I'm-too-grown-up-for-you-year-old, still cherishes bedtime...

It's those few moments that make it all worth while:)

Stacey said...

Oh Karen, I share in your heart struggle. Your kids are a little older than mine (9(almost10), 7, 5, and 5) Just yesterday was the twins preschool spring program. As they sang songs about how they love Jesus and are thankful for His love, tears sprang to my eyes. I leaned over and said to my husband "this is the last preschool program we'll ever have." Sniff, sniff.

They do grow quickly. But how awesome your prayer is for your not-so-little boy! That our children would earnestly follow God as they go through life...that's so awesome.

He is a blessed young man to have such a loving Mom :)

Theresa said...

It is Bittersweet! I have experience alot right now. Hope is almost 14 and informed me the other day that I just don't have a clue how fast things move in Junior High.

I miss the days when they were little. Not sure about this teenager stuff. At least my 16 year old son will still tell me he loves me in front of others. LOL