A photo popped up in my time hop this morning that caught my breath. My 4 baby boys in 2008, a time when I had 4 babies, 3 and under.
I never wished away time when the kids were babies. I loved when they were small and they were just mine, all mine! I loved bringing them to the beach and knowing that they would all stay right with us. I loved going to our local pool club and knowing that would be in the kiddie pool with me all day. I loved preschool and getting those arms stretched out to me and a warm embrace at pick-up. I loved playdates where I would need to go because they were too scared to stay alone. I loved tucking them in at night and being asked if I could lay down for a few minutes because they didn’t like it too dark. I loved all those moments that come with babies and toddlers and little guys and girls. And I LOVE that I’m still in this “time” with my daughter Victoria.
Now we’re hitting the teen years and it’s hitting me like a ton of bricks. Even as I write this, I’m tearing up. I wish I could say I’m ready for these years, but I’m not. I’m just not. Not at all. I’ve really seen the teen transition this summer with my oldest and it’s been really tough on me. William has always been my sidekick, my good bud… and he still is, but it’s just different. He’s craving more freedom, more time with friends, more time on his own, more time on his phone and more time just to be. All this comes with growing up and wanting to “go out and see the world,” but it’s been tough for me to come to terms with right now.
I feel like a baby writing this, but it’s really been tough on me. William will be 13 this September and then next year Alex, the next year Ben and the next year Henry. I always knew having 4 boys right in a row would be interesting because we’d be experiencing much of the same year after year after year. I used to joke that by the time we got to Henry, everything would be a piece of cake because we’d “know” everything so well by then! And I always knew that William would be the toughest for me emotionally because he’s my first… my trailblazer, the one that forges ahead first into this world.
I feel like the teen part hit me like a ton of bricks this summer when all of a sudden William wanted to go off and do more things without us. I know it’s normal, but it’s tough. He loves to ride bikes with his friends. He loves to go off and sit and watch funny videos with his friends. He loves to be in his room reading or playing video games. He loves to listen to his own music in the car. These little things… all things that I did when I was 13 years old, but still… it’s a first time for me. I miss the little guy singing songs with me in the car – anyone remember Dan Zane? I miss the little guy begging me to bring him down to the playground. I miss the little guy who would sit and color on the counter while I made dinner. I miss the little guy who would ask me to give him math equations at dinner. I miss the little guy who would tell me about his day, not leaving out one single detail… and sometimes the stories would go on ALL through dinner! LOL!
Growing up is growing up. He’s just the best kid there is, compassionate – kind – funny – caring – sweet – smart – driven – determined. He does great in school and excels in sports. He’s a true family guy, too. Loves his sister so much and (even though they DO drive him crazy at times) his brothers. I know that he’s always going to be my “baby,” but the role just has changed a ton. We’ve raised him to the best of our ability and I love seeing the “man” he’s turning into, but it’s just the transition. It’s the definitive transition that we’ve crossed… he’s a teenager. He’s not a little kid anymore.
It’s just been tough on me.
And yes… it’s been hitting me like a ton, ton, ton of bricks.