Perhaps if I had kept having babies I wouldn't be so bittersweetly aware of how you have grown.
Distracted with little ones, I might not notice how your body moves through space differently these days, how you nearly match me in height and strength and size.
But I'm certain that I would.
Perhaps if you went to school this transition into bigness would be more subtle.
Apart each day, I might not notice you exploring the edges where childhood and adulthood mingle.
But I'm sure that with more time apart that awareness would only be stronger.
Or perhaps if I were more distracted with work and life it would be easier to miss this unfolding.
And I might not ache so deeply as I bear witness to your growing up.
But with more time in different worlds I'd surely find even more reasons to grieve.
But grief is the wrong word, really. Isn't it? Because it's not grief at all at the heart of this longing. It is love that we find at it's core.
A love that I never knew existed until I became a mother those fourteen years ago. It changed me in ways I never expected. And for that I am always grateful.
It is a love that transformed me from woman into mother. A love so immense it's almost disorienting. A love that tears us down, then rebuilds us again with a new sense purpose, of our power to change the world, and a radically different sense of self.
So mostly what I feel as I watch you become is love. So much love that my heart could burst, as I stand by watching the years spiral around us as you transform before my eyes.
And suddenly, today, you are fourteen.
So I will whisper a prayer that you linger a moment longer in this slow childhood of yours; the only childhood you have ever known. There's never been a reason for you to rush, and for that I am so grateful. I watch as you stand with one foot in each world, part boy and part man.
And as you do I will continue doing the only thing I've ever really know how to do as a mother: love you, enjoy you, marvel at who you've become, savor the moments we still get to share.
And continue to be thankful for walking beside you along this beautiful path toward adulthood.
Happy Birthday, Sage. I'm honored and humbled to have you call me your mama.
You have taught me more than you may ever know.
5 thoughts on “On the cusp of grown”
So beautifully written <3
Love. These words, you, him, all of it.
As I watch my own oldest growing, lengthening, testing his own boundaries — physical, family, mental…it’s just so bittersweet as a parent. <3 Now, mine is only on the cusp of 9 (October) but I can't imagine it will get any easier as the years continue to fly by. Thank you for giving me such a solid, gentle example to follow into this uncharted land.
happy birthday. I just watched my oldest turn 22 yesterday….and oh how your words have been mine the past few years. I can feel how strongly this journey toward adulthood fills you because I felt it too. I’ve watched all mine now reach that stage and pass it…on into a different place. It’s beyond bittersweet but also makes you swell with pride. Mine are now 17,17,19 and 22. In a few short months the youngest two will cross over to 18. That seems like such a milestone…for them and for me. *sigh* Happy Birthday to him…much mama love to you. savor the next few years <3
This was so lovely, thank you for sharing these thoughts. they hit me hard this week.
My heart has been swelling to cracking the past couple of months while I watch my eldest prepare to launch out to the wider world. I’ve never blinked, not once, in the almost nineteen years since his birth, and even so, it’s gone so terribly fast. Our days as a complete family under one roof are painfully numbered. I feel so blessed for all of it, and the man he has become, but I do feel like someone is ripping my heart out as he prepares himself to leave. I wish all of us mamas and papas the strength to endure this beautiful gift of watching our babies grow up. Sniff.
“And as you do I will continue doing the only thing I’ve ever really know how to do as a mother: love you, enjoy you, marvel at who you’ve become, savor the moments we still get to share” these are very loving words every mother wishes to say to her children. You are so inspiring.