His hands are so big, they clutch the X-box controller without any trouble. His hands are so small, they still fit inside of mine. His legs are so long and lanky, it seems to be all he is made of, his legs are so short, he still barely comes up to my chest. His feet are so large that he keeps tripping over them, his feet are so small, he still lets me tie his shoes. His voice, still so high and child like, is maturing with the thoughts and feelings that come out of it. His eyes, still big with wonder and excitement, tired with the days endless lessons.
My son is still a boy in so many many ways, still dancing and signing in the shower, still playing pretend games when no one is watching, still holding on oh so tight when he needs me. He is becoming a teenager though. He has moods that go beyond happy or sad. He has thoughts that go beyond the Cat In the Hat. He has questions much deeper than why is the sky blue. I often find that I don’t have the answers.
People talk of the baby years, the toddler years, the big kid years, they moan about teenagers and weep over collage kids. They get nostalgic and hopeful about in-laws and grandchildren. Not much is said about pre-teen. That odd age that happens somewhere between 10 and 13. They are still so little, so innocent in so many ways, but they are also so big and experiencing bigger and bigger things all the time. They go to middle school, they learn of heartbreak, friendships ending and beginning. They learn algebra and bullying, they get introduced to biology and drugs. Yes. Drugs. They learn words you don’t speak at home, they hear things you didn’t know existed, they are part of a world that we no longer have access to.
And what are parents of pre-teens to do? Lock them inside? Limit screen time? Forbid them to have friends? Of course not. That is not logical. What can we do? Why love them, with all of hearts. Be honest with them from the depths of our souls, believe in them, inspire them, encourage them, be ever so grateful for them. A lot of parenting articles talk about knowing what they are doing, listening to, playing or hanging out with; and I agree. Especially at this age. But there is a lot more heart and soul into parenting than rules and regulations. The every day tears and smiles.
We pretend to know what we are doing, we pretend to have all the answers, we even pretend that we never acted the way we do. Of course, we don’t and we did. We certainly did act the way they do.
I don’t have the reasons or the whys. I don’t have any wisdom. All I have to give him is love.
*Course – we could take a page out of Mother Gothel’s book….just saying…its an option: