Slice of Life – Day 8

Separating

I knew this day would come.

It had to, because we all grow up and, symbolically, separate from our parents.

It’s an important step in our journey to adulthood.

But he is my baby.

My bear-guy.

I knew I would never be ready for him to push me away, no matter how long I had been preparing (or dreading) this day.

It’s started completely innocuously.

No extra hugs goodnight – just going to bed independently.

Not asking to talk when I call.

Today, I was scolded: “I told you about my day. What more should we talk about?”

Maybe I just wasn’t ready to hang up.

I’m missing his concert tonight to be at class.

I was feeling guilty.

He seemed “fine.”

This is how it’s supposed to go, right?

It’s healthy and “normal.”

I am sitting on the floor of my bedroom closet, surrounded by baby books and memory boxes.

What if I’m not ready – not as fine?

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18 thoughts on “Slice of Life – Day 8

  1. That title is a really good hook, Aileen. I thought the obvious, never thinking it would be your baby growing up. Lots of emotion with this process, I’m sure. I think the best writing comes from there, as tough as it may be to sort through at the time of the writing. Thanks for the surprise, for a lovely read.

  2. An older friend once advised me to find wonderful moments no matter the age or stage my boys were currently going through; but I agree with you! It’s so hard not to think about when they were littler and seemed to need us a little bit more! I really enjoyed this slice.

  3. It is a journey. I have a 16 and 14 year old so I know what you are feeling. I am trying to focus on how excited they are for this next stage. I am excited for them and love who they are becoming. Whenever I feel sad I try to also feel the joy — it’s okay to be sad. Hang in there – sending hugs.
    Clare

  4. Oh, this one got me. I really didn’t think this part of parenting through AT ALL. I do not understand how we’re supposed to manage this part of it. I really don’t. I have a friend who assures me that by the time my son is 18, I’ll be more than ready for him to leave, but I just don’t think so.

  5. It seems like we spend so much time wishing for a certain age with our kids and when they reach it, it’s never quite what we wished for. My kids are in their 30’s now. But I remember those at home years well. Teaching them to be independent and thinkers, but wishing they were still my babies. Appreciate what moments you get….and look forward to all those to come.

  6. It seems like I’m never ready and the older my daughter gets the more difficult it is for me. We give them roots so they can stand strong but wings so they fly and be free. It’s a difficult balance.

  7. I have 4 girls… I don’t have boys… my girls were distant for a few years, but now that they are in their late 20’s with children of their own, we seem to have come full circle and I’m feeling closer to them than ever.

  8. Nina Anderson says:

    I do love your poem; it’s beautiful. Take heart! Although it takes some getting used to, each stage of their life brings new joys. He will always be your baby.

  9. Things always seem easier for the one who is moving on, growing up, setting out on an adventure. They get new experiences, new opportunities. The person left at home just feels the emptiness.

  10. It is so hard when our sons grow up. It is not easy, but remember boys have their “boy ways” and there is a special place is a son’s heart for his mom. Love it!

  11. “But he is my baby.
    My bear-guy.”

    This is the transition for our minds. How quickly we move from the physical age of “baby” and then find ourselves with big people who are still our babies. My 22-year-old son is still my baby. Your baby will be, too– no matter how old he is. But our relationships change. For me, I find the joy in each new age. There is a lot to enjoy (and sometimes, I let myself cry over the empty feeling, I just don’t let myself focus there).

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