Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy Birthday...

Today is my baby’s 13th birthday. I now have two teenagers in the house and the countdown towards the empty nest is officially on.  Once upon a time, I had babies. They were cuddly, and smelled so sweet (at least they did right after their baths) and they never wanted to sit still. No longer do I have little boys cuddling up to me, or giggling as they chase the doggie or throwing something up so high in the house that my short self is forced to grab the stepladder and try to get it down, all the while preaching the mantra, “You know you are not supposed to throw in the house”. The fun trips to parks and playgrounds are long over and the thrill of watching the doughnuts being made at Krispy Kreme has been replaced by the request to hit the drive through and can they have some gulp, coffee?
Now I have sons who are tall enough that I ask them, “Can you reach that for me?” instead of getting the stepladder and there are these huge shoes thrown around. In fact the fairy tale I keep thinking of is “Jack and the Beanstalk”. They are the beanstalks and perhaps a little Jack might help me with all these transitions. I learned to drive at 14 and I look at my older son and think, “No way! You’re still my baby.” They are perfectly content to sit still, if an Xbox is involved. They grab pizza, laugh and share jokes with me, and want to discuss world events and tragedies with a seriousness that startles me at times. We share music and I catch them rolling their eyes at me, luckily not as often as I did at my own parents, and I remember so well the arrogance of youth. I want to caution them, hold them tight, and yet I want to let them go and watch them glory in their independence.
At various times of their lives, I’ve heard “oh, that’s my favorite age” from other moms. I can honestly say that every age has been my favorite. I find the changes, the thrills, the agonies constantly make me feel more alive, and the love for my children is this ever expanding entity I never completely comprehended. And one day, I hope to take their children to Krispy Kreme to watch the doughnuts being made, and I think I’ll let my grandchildren throw things in my house, just for the joy of it.
How do you handle your children growing up? Is it fun? Bittersweet? Exciting or exhausting? Maybe it's all of the above?


  1. My children are now 16 and 18. The only discussions I have with my 18 year old involve the University of Alabama's roommate finder and I'll be home at 10. My 16 year old, seems to think that he is now a man, and, as long as his grades are up, anything goes. I've become this antiquated rules freak who is holding him back from his destiny of being a rap producer, and so I've had to smile through the tears and wonder who these people are and what they've done with my sweet babies.

    I can take solace in the fact even though they are growing up at an alarming rate, they're great kiddo's. And now that my empty nest is just around the corner, I'm starting to look at my life through fresh eyes. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? It's a sad but intriguing thought, is it not?

  2. Happy birthday to the baby and BIRTH day to you! It is all of those things to me. My boys are now 18 and 23 but they are still my boys. As your children become adults it becomes more and more evident the love your parents have/had for you and how Mama still worries if she hears there has been a wreck on 40 when one of you would be driving it. We are so blessed with our boys :)

  3. Happy Birthday to your youngest son!

    I loved your comment, "I can honestly say that every age has been my favorite."

    To that I say, amen and amen.


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