The Awareness of Eleven

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He starts middle school in the fall. How is that possible?

I don’t feel old enough to have an eleven year old, when in reality I could be a grandmother. Time flies quickly that way.

The blessing of having a short child is you can believe they are little for longer.

He wants to wear deodorant – Old Spice Krakenguard. It’s manly and cool. He goes in to the bathroom in the morning and fixes his hair on his own. He’s worried about his clothing. The anxiety of adolescence is approaching.

He wants me to wait outside for the bus with him – but go inside before it reaches the house.

He worries he’ll be stuffed in a locker next year. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid books have rattled his nerves about middle school.

I see the devastation on his face when he doesn’t win an award or doesn’t get invited to a party. I want to fix it. But, I understand all too well he must find his way to handle the disappointments of life. So, I listen and hug and pray that’s enough.

He’s in love with the tallest girl in the class. He’s the shortest boy. We need to watch “The Flash” because Addy likes “The Flash.” We drove to her house to drop off a birthday present for her. She rejected him as a “boyfriend” so he pretends he doesn’t like her anymore. But, he has a picture of her taped to his wall. Oh the pain of unrequited love.

His teachers say he’s growing more confident and asks more questions. I take him to school events and see how patient and kind he is – he opens the doors for strangers and helps out little kids. I feel not so much proud that he is smart as proud that he is kind.

I know I will become less and less cool. Already, he puts up his hand and says, “Mommy, you’re not in this.” He retreats to the computer and asks Alexa to play him some music. He still wants to snuggle at night. And I find that a blessing.

I didn’t think he’d like me this long.

So, now a new chapter begins. Little by little, it will be time to let go.

His future is full of unlimited possibilities.

I can’t wait to watch it unfold.

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