My son rolls his eyes as I walk into our dark kitchen at 6am before school while he makes his breakfast. He greets me with a grunt after I ask him how he’s slept.
I grab his shoulders, stand on my tip toes to hug him and say, “Remember when you used up get so excited to wake up and you’d crawl in bed with me every morning and ask me one-hundred questions before I even opened my eyes?”
The silence and mutters he hands out after I ask him how he has slept the night before make me long for his chatty ways. I try being nostalgic, instead, hoping to pull out the talkative boy in him — it didn’t work.
I’m mourning the younger years hard and I’m very vocal about it but really, I need to shut up.
Me talking about how my kids used to love to cuddle on the sofa and get excited about happy meals and spend Friday nights with me aren’t going to transport me back to a simpler time. It’s not going to keep them from growing up, and it’s not making them want to spend extra time with me.
Like, at all.
It’s one thing to reminisce with them and it’s another to keep referring to when I felt a different connection with my kids and let it hang in the air– it gets on all their nerves, makes me feel like crying into a jar of frosting and in actuality, they want to be with me less because of this annoying habit I’ve been indulging in.
I love these teens years– I do. But their growing bodies, deep voices, and signing them up for driving school are reminders their time with me is coming to an end faster than I would like.
Instead of thinking back to when they were small, I need to embrace their life now. I’ve been kind of doing that, but my efforts were weak at best.
It’s time for me to get in the game; to get all in, because if I don’t and I’m constantly wishing they would stop growing and maturing and pulling away from me, I am going to miss the now.
I don’t want to miss the now, it’s all I have with them.
The only way for me to get through these tumultuous teen years and watch my kids grow is to grow with them. They aren’t the same kids they were when they were small and that’s okay– I need to stop reminding them of who they used to be and focus on who they are now and all the amazing-ness they have to offer now.
Because damn, they are amazing.
I need to watch them get ready for a dance on a Friday night with the same affection I had when they were learning how to walk. This is an exciting time for them and the last thing they need to listen to how their mom wants them to regress into tiny humans because she is feeling sorry for herself.
Life is moving and I need to keep up. I need to show my kids I love and enjoy them now they are older and doing teenage things, because I do.
But I will always keep a stash of frosting to binge on (and cry into) after they’ve gone out with friends, or when they get their license and especially when I watch them walk down the graduation aisle.
I gave birth to them and it’s my right. I’ll just keep it quiet and embrace all these teen years have to offer with a bit more grace.
After all, we always have the memories to look back to, but we can’t replace this moment we are living in. And I don’t want to forget a thing.