Friday, September 28, 2012

Changes

His broad shoulders are carrying a heavy load - both in the substantial backpack he wears, and in the burden he carries each day.  I can't help but watch him and wonder -- does he see the change that is happening almost overnight?  Does he feel the growth that I see each and every morning?

I like mornings now.

Well, maybe not mornings, but I really like the time I get to spend with him.  Just he and I.  We have already created several inside jokes, and we laugh about them while the rest of the world is still dreaming.  The house is quiet.  The others, asleep.

As we drive through dark streets to his six a.m. religion class, I try not to notice the puffiness around his eyes, or the weariness on his face.  The mama in me worries, wondering how in the world he'll ever sustain this pace of 13-hour days.  But then he smiles, lights up, and tells me all about his upcoming day.  He has taken the pressure, exhaustion, and work load and chosen instead to see them as a routine that he enjoys.  A challenge.  He drives himself to do better, to run faster, to study more.

I tear up, wondering just when exactly my little boy decided it was okay to cease being just that.  I turn from him and wipe the tears, not wanting him to see me mourn for what once was.  Truthfully?  I'm prouder than I could have ever imagined I'd feel at this moment.  And I wouldn't have him any other way.

But there is a part of me that will always miss his chubby hands and toothless grin.  His Lego days, superman capes, and endless rounds of Goodnight Moon.  Skinned boy knees, all curled up in my lap.  Soft arms around my neck, and whispered I love yous every night at his bedside.

He's grown up seemingly almost overnight.  Right before my eyes, and quite without my permission.  Nobody warned me that this would happen in high school.  Nobody said that he would rise to the task, take on responsibility and seriousness with the ease of slipping into a new shirt.  I expected it to be harder, more fraught with emotion, and requiring the inevitable pain that growth produces.

Instead, he's taken life by the horns, and done so with more grace and charm than his mother has known in a lifetime.

I'm so proud of you, Mack.

I can almost forgive you for destroying the drapes in that one old house.

Almost.  But not quite.


12 comments:

Jen J said...

Christie, I don't know you in real life (I feel like I do...I found your blog through our mutual friend Annie), but I had to comment. Thank you for this post, this is exactly how I'm feeling about my 16 year old. Thank you for sharing.
Jen

Christy said...

Oh my goodness, I love this post. My third child started high school and seminary this year. It too amazes me how he is managing his life so well. Add to that all honors classes and cross country, boy scouts, church activities, and piano lessons. My kids amaze me, they really do. I spent my time after school watching soap operas. They are so much better than me, and it makes me so happy!

Travelin'Oma said...

You have a fabulous way with words, and with sons (mine included.)

Thelma said...

Now I am crying. Both because of your beautiful words and my own growing son with a weary load that doesn't need me as much as he used to. Except for, you know, food. And rides.

Juli said...

gulp.

I need tissues.

And seriously... 6am? It would take an act of God himself for me...

Leeann said...



I am living that mix of pride and bittersweet as well. Soon it will be my 14 year old son heading off to high school but right now it's watching and occasionally assisting my "baby girl" in filling out college applications. We are in the days of things being "the last".. the last Homecoming, the last First Day of School picture etc.

And with each one, I am proud and crushed, simultaneously.

Jo-Lynne {Musings of a Housewife} said...

It is so hard to believe, isn't it!?? I just can't take it. They are all getting SO OLD.

Lauren in GA said...

Stie, that was so, so, so, beautiful. I have tears streaming down my face. I am in a mourning of sorts, too. How did he grow so fast? My 3 year old is losing his chub and it is killing me and my 15 year old kills me because he is a man-child.

This was so perfectly put. I loved it. Every word.

Leanne said...

Yes. Don't blink. Great post.

Lala said...

Totally Crying.
It really does go by fast.
We just took down our crib after 10 1/2 years of continual use.

Where does the time go?

jessica said...

This is how I feel about my 7th grader!!! I can't even imagine how I will feel when she is in high school...UGH!

Beautiful by the way...

danandcindy said...

Liar. Here's how your day really went...

I woke up at ten am, just to roll over and sleep for another hour... I remembered that I have kids, and I decide that I had better check on them. They are all gone, and I remember that they all have school, and must have gotten themselves off without me again. I feel guilty for a minute, until I turn on Days of Our Lives, and then comfortably settle into a guilt free world that revolves around me, diet coke, and ice cream. Finally, at 3pm, I decide to get dressed, and slip into one of my three moomoo's that I wear every day. The kids get home from school, and I yell at them. They all shed tears of anguish, but hide it from me because they know of the rage that it would bring out in me. They quietly sneak off to their rooms without eating dinner, and somehow this story repeats the next day, the same way that it began today...