You know how they say that you should treasure those moments when your child wants to be close to you? How you shouldn’t be annoyed when they climb on your lap or grab your hand? It’s true!
It’s also true that the lack of personal space and the constant pressure is exhausting so this is not a post about how you are wrong to be frustrated by it. But, man, what I wouldn’t give for one of my kids to plop on my lap when I’m not expecting it right now. (Well, not right now. Maybe after I have finished breakfast and this post, so kind of right now!)
After reading a poem about how you never know when the last time is, I have made a conscious effort to be aware of the moments more. Especially with Antwan. Antwan was the one that would still hold my hand in the parking lot. He would instinctively grab it, even though, Lizzie doesn’t any more and he is 12 so he could obviously handle the walk to the store. But, I absolutely love it. I would squeeze his hand and dramatically feel his hand in mine. I know that sounds cheesy but I’m a little cheesy. 🙂 One day, recently, I commented that I loved that he would still hold my hand. Yeah, I think that was a mistake. I made him aware of it. And just like that, with me barely noticing, he stopped holding my hand. I’m not sure exactly when it happened. Only that I failed in being aware of the time that was the last.
And I tried to get it back. I grabbed his hand a couple more times. He let me but he didn’t squeeze back. It no longer felt like I was holding my little boy’s hand. It felt awkward. So I stopped.
He is becoming a teenager. Things are changing. For Lizzie, too. Even though, these are my youngest, I feel like I’m going through the transition for the first time. Kaleb was already a teenager when he showed up. William and I had a tumultuous relationship before and during his transition to adolescence. But, Lizzie and Antwan, they were babies, just a day ago, weren’t they?
As much as it’s hurting to lose my babies, I can’t stop it. It sure doesn’t help to know that they are moving into the worst part of it all. Adolescence. Ugh.
I would say that I wish I had cherished the moments but the reality is, I know I did. I remember reminding myself to be in the moment and I feel like I was. But, it still amazes me how far away those moments feel now. So now, I have to cherish these moments.
Now the other day, when I dragged the three of them off their electronics to make them eat with us, it didn’t feel like much to cherish (especially since Antwan defiantly ate in the kitchen) but it was. William and I chatted about the dogs and the cats as I thought how amazing it is that we have gotten to this point. And after Antwan spent the rest of the evening perfecting his teenager routine, he knocked on my bedroom door, way past bedtime, and said “I want the dog.” (“The dog” is Captain and Antwan and I are in a constant battle over who gets to sleep with him, haha.) I opened the door and looked at my baby man and asked him if he was going to at least apologize for how he had been acting.
Then he smiled that smile that melts my heart every time and he said, sheepishly “I’m sorry.” I demanded a hug because I won’t miss an opportunity! And he hugged me, a real hug. A hug that reminded me that he is still my little boy. I happily (mostly) handed over MY dog and all was right in the world. For the moment, anyway. 🙂
It’s going to be a challenge. Changing with the changing relationships. Finding different ways to connect. Accepting that they just aren’t going to enjoy the same things that they did before. And then cherishing the upcoming moments, too.
I guess the lesson for me and all of us is to be in the moment; you’ll be sorry if you’re not. But then, make sure to be in the next one because it’s the only one you’ve got. And, for the love of God, if you are lucky enough to have a 12 year old who will still hold your hand, KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT AND ENJOY IT! 😉