As I sit here and type, my eyes are filled with tears and there’s that lump in my throat. My head hurts a little and I have that melancholy feeling of sort of just being out of sorts. It that makes sense.
My boys are outside playing with friends. They’re having a good ol’ July water fight. I bring them towels. I offer freeze pops. They keep shooting water and screaming at each other, and barely notice my offers. I mean, they’re certainly capable of getting towels and freeze pops. Seriously, my two teen boys already tower over me. My presence doesn’t feel like it’s much needed. But I still hover for a bit and then head inside.
It’s quiet inside. I walk from room to room, fussing with a few piles, putting a few things away, trying to find a place that needs tending to.
My 17-year old is gone for the day. In her very own car, out with a friend, and then she’ll drive herself to worship practice this evening. I check in and text her every once in awhile.
And then I think to myself, “Was it worse when they needed me incessantly, non-stop around the clock…or not much at all anymore?”
The lump is there. The eyes are stinging.
I know. Everyone said this would happen….one day. But it seemed to come out of nowhere, even though it really didn’t. They went from needing me less and less to not much at all.
And of course, we always need our mamas, but it’s different. It’s a different type of needing.
This past year has been a year of transition. A letting go…a little at a time. As we approach the last six months before adulthood for my oldest, the transition has been a good one overall. There have been bumps and there have been hard parts. But overall, it’s been good.
There are just sometimes, when a little at a time, I just ache. I hear that baby voice in my head, but it has been replaced by the low tone of a teenage boy. I pray with them over life choices rather than teaching them to use their “inside voice.” Instead of worrying about naps and schedules, I worry about them driving.
Times have changed.
I remember the endless nights without sleep, tending to needy babies. Those teenagers now aren’t sleeping at night, but it has changed. It’s not because they’re fussy. Now, they want to stay up late hanging out in our room, laughing and story-telling. I struggle to keep my eyes open past 10 pm, because I know to savor those moments, so I stay awake.
It’s a slow letting go…although a necessary one…this time of life. Teens hanging there in the midst of adulthood.
A mom that was always tending to little ones, now trying to find her place in the big one’s lives.
Yes, a slow letting go. For me and for them.
Yet, I love watching them grow. I love who they are becoming. So this time is just as sweet as it stings. Because they are growing into who God made them to be. And all is well.