Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pre-teen

No longer attached to my side, days will pass where I realize I haven't had a real, honest hug from Justin. Nervous about my obvious lack of motherly attention, I rush to him and smother him with physical love. He doesn't pull away. He still returns the hugs and smiles at my weepy attempts to push his head below my chin, back where he belongs, beneath my heart and in my arms.

This is hard.

Harder than the sleepless newborn nights he gave me. Harder than potty-training. Harder than fractions. (that's saying a lot!) There aren't any manuals to tell you exactly how much space an 11 year old boy needs from his mother. It's impossibly easy to shower a toddler with love and attention. And as a pre-teen, Justin still wants our love and attention, but no longer walks up to me to proclaim his undying love for me. It's quite simple to let the time pass by without holding him to my heart and kissing his head. He appears to be content with a nod and a "Night, Mom" before he heads to bed but I still need that hug and kiss and hug again...

His life is already so removed from mine, despite the fact that I homeschool and we're together ALL THE TIME. I don't feel the need to monopolize his space, but it saddens me to realize that days may go by where I don't have conversations with him about anything but school, chores, bathing or treating his siblings nicely. How do I remain involved without crowding him? How do I give him the space he needs to independently explore his world without allowing a valley to form between us?

This constant push and pull of motherhood is what wears me down the most. These daily needs of the kids and the personal issues I have make it difficult to pay attention to the slippery sweetness of today. But between the packing of the winter clothes and the unpacking of the winter clothes, the haircuts, shoe sizes, friend conflicts, locations of books and socks... it all gradually pecks away at my ability to be still and focused on what is important to us as a family and that is our connection to one another.Today, I vow to be still. I vow to be beside him and witness his laughter at our Halloween party. I want him to know that I SEE him and HEAR his thoughts and LOVE him...
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