I remember holding him minutes after he was born. He was so tiny, except for his head. (Oy that head!!) He was scrawny and mad, having been pulled kicking and screaming into this world not too long before.
I loved snuggling with his warm little self, rocking him to sleep at night, watching his sweet little hands curl into fists as he slept blissfully, his mouth open and emitting cute little baby snores.
He was little and needed me to protect him and nurture him and help him grow up right. I was his everything. I fulfilled his every wish.
Now I look at him across the room and am proud of the big teen he now is. He is bigger than me, heavier and taller, his head is still big, but it’s now in proportion, thankfully. But that’s when he is across the room.
When he stands next to me, especially lately, he towers over me. I am not a big person, only 5ft 5 in my bare feet, and am a skinny little thing. I feel tiny and fragile next to him. But I am still the mom. I can still pull my weight – and for now, he listens.
How is it that this baby I used to rock endlessly to sleep, will, in such a few short years become a man? How can I reconcile, personally, that my oldest baby is no longer a child, not yet a man, but soon will be? How do other mothers deal with this?
I know it’s the right way of the world, that kids grow up. I have no issue with that. I love the intelligent conversations we have, I love the way he thinks and I love his sensitivity and his respect for me. I love the endless talks we have about how to fix the world. I love his independence and need for personal space. But as he grows he needs me less and less.
Yet I cannot help but be overwhelmed by the thought that he is growing up way too fast. The physical manifestation is just a small part. Soon he will be grown up enough to find his own way in the world. And I pray that all the life lessons I have taught him will have given him enough of a foundation so he enters that world confidently and ably.
I know eventually all my boys will be taller and bigger than me, and I will be the little old yiddishe momma pointing my arthritic finger in their faces. But by then hopefully I will have baby grandchildren to snuggle with and feel pivotal to their world.
Mothers of grown men – how did you adjust?