For the past two weeks I've been struggling emotionally with the changes that are taking place around me--mostly about my not being in the same school building as my children in the year ahead. Don't get me wrong--I'm very grateful that I still have a part-time job doing the work that I love; I am excited to pursue something new at a different school. But there's a part of me that strongly wishes I were physically present in the same school as my boys for 3 hours a day like I was last year.
Mitchell will be 11 years old in just over a month. Yes, he's becoming a tween. What comes along with this, I suppose, is a new-found sense of independence on his part, while I am interally balking it every step of the way. I know he's supposed to keep growing up. I just don't want him to. And I'm beginning to realize that perhaps my continued longing for another baby (yes, I still have that longing, even though I wrote about "Baby Train Derailment" 3 years ago . . .) is the fact that I personally am having trouble watching my children grow up; with each day comes less dependence on me while the boys seek to figure things out for themselves. I honestly do not like it. So, you heard it here first. I'm having trouble ripping out even one stitch of the apron strings. I admit it. I am that type of mother.
My husband is having a hard time understanding me at the moment, particularly with regards to why I'm struggling so much with the boys growing up. I've talked to a couple of my friends about this issue and it seems that I am not alone in this struggle; and their husbands also do not understand . . . which has brought me to one conclusion: it's a Mom Thing.
Part of my feelings also stem from the fact that I am finding the future of my children rather unsettling. As the boys become older, they will need to draw their own conclusions about God and His presence in and purpose for their lives. We are doing the best we can to teach them to live for Jesus, but ultimately it will be their choice. I cannot think of anything more heartbreaking for a parent than to be aware of their child's decision to reject Christ. Unfortunately, Wayne and I are living through this heartbreak as we witness my stepson rejecting the truth he once knew.
Other issues include the following:
There is so much talk of obesity in children/adults due to lack of physical activity; there is so much talk of the "information highway" taking over our lives, and as a result, the brains of children are not necessarily developing as they should be; there is so much talk over kids becoming involved in adult-like recreational activities, which gets in the way of a child truly experiencing a normal childhood. But really, what is a normal childhood? For me, it was playing will dolls until I was 12 and Barbies until I was 13. What girl does that anymore? Hopefully, more than I think. I truly believe that in general, kids are growing up way too fast and their childhoods are being robbed from them due to many factors . . . and there are many. But one thing I have observed in my own little world is that kids are expected to become "adults" too soon--and it has left them lacking the enjoyment of a fulfilling childhood--not to mention, the skills necessary to make appropriate choices.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want my boys to be boys for as long as they can. And when my almost-11-year-old declared that I am no longer "Mommy", but rather, "Mom", it became a tad unnerving. I know that this instance in itself does not indicate that he is no longer a child. It's just that one constant reminder in my daily life that he is growing up. And I've got to start stitch-ripping those apron strings--one at a time--before it's too late.