After teaching middle schoolers for almost half my life, I can see what kids will look like as teenagers. If I really look at a child that still has some baby fat, baby teeth, braces, and that awkward, gawky way of trying to hold their body just so, I can picture him or her after 4 years or so, taller, more self-assured, straighter teeth.
I looked at The Boy today and realized he is no longer a boy. He is quickly on his way to becoming a teen. He had just woken up, and was still a little out of it, staring into space, allowing me a moment to really study him. And I blinked, looked at the pictures all around us in our living room, at that little boy in kindergarten, then after he’d lost a few teeth, looking like that beautiful, typical American boy… “Where did my baby go?” I said. “He’s in the pictures, Mom,” The Boy replied as I hugged him tight. I watched him amble off, down the hall, and I pictured him, taller, broader shoulders, and a little more self-assured (I mean, after all, he can even make his own bagels, now!), and I had two simultaneous emotions: sadness that I’m losing my little boy, and hope for the man he will become.
And here come the tears…
Poignant and much understood.
You made me cry too! Having kids is bittersweet really because we love them so much and want to keep them forever, all the while knowing in the backs of our minds that we’re going to have to let them go someday.
I find myself looking at my boys all the time, wondering what they will look like when they are older. They are now 11 and 13, and still so innocent and young looking. My 13 yr old has autism and even though he is getting taller and sprouting body hair, he is still my baby. Someday soon they will be taller than me and probably look more like their dad which is fine by me! 🙂
Oh, I tell The Boy all the time that he will always be my baby, even when he gets taller than me (any second now)! He knows it, and doesn’t mind. He’s my sweet boy ❤