My son is 11. That’s his actual age. But some days he’s seven. And other days he’s 17. Some days he wants to snuggle and play with action figures and watch cartoons. Other days he wants to roll his eyes at me and rearrange his room and spend 20 minutes making his hair “look cool.” I don’t know what season this is I’m living in, friends. It feels like I’m somewhere between teddy bears and teenagers. While I love seeing him become his own person, it is bittersweet to know with each day we’re getting further away.
Further away from seven and closer to 17.
Lately, I’ve noticed that I spend an awful lot of time wishing for him to be older. We haven’t had the easiest year and I just keep thinking “Once he’s older, it’ll get better.” He’ll grow into a better student. He’ll get a little more motivated and a little braver and a little more responsible. The irony is I remember thinking these same things when he was younger. And, here I am. Continuing to look ahead to another age instead of fully embracing the age he is.
Now I realize that I’m slowly but surely running out of “once he’s older.”
So how do I stop time? How do I stay in this age where who he was and who he will be is who he is now? This age where I get the best (and worst) of both worlds. There is no stopping time. There is certainly no easy season. And maybe there isn’t supposed to be. We tend to take it for granted when things are easy. And, maybe that’s the lesson. Don’t take one single day for granted. Not the teddy bear days. Not the teenager days. Just take them all as they come. Because one day, he’ll rearrange his room (again) and all of the 5,000 stuffed animals will be boxed up.
There will be no more in-between.
Maybe it’s my job to help him grow and become, but to also help him remember. Remember the snuggles. Remember what will seem like such a simple season. Remember seven.