Friday, November 13, 2009

Just because he grew up...

Doesn't mean he gets out of having a sappy post written about him. This was quite awhile ago. Back when the Rams were more fun to watch. My husband's favorite team since his youth for some reason. I am not quite sure why since our state has its own losing team to root for. Just kidding, just kidding. Rams were rather exciting for a few years at least. The Lions - not so much.

Not the most flattering picture of me ever taken. In my defense I am pregnant in this photo. As you can see, my stepson was such a cutie. (And he still is of course, just in an 18 year old sort of way.) I was feeling an imbalance in the force not adding him to my kid appreciation posts earlier.

It didn't seem fair since he was the kid who got all my practice attempts at mothering. He was always so patient and sweet with my clumsy early efforts at cooking for a family (if you ever meet him, ask about my soap spaghetti). He taught me to relax with his little boy humor and his easy affection. He was the first person to call me Mama. And he's one of the reasons I fell in love with my husband - watching my husband parent his son with such genuine affection and attention melted me. How someone didn't snatch up the pair of them long before I came along is a wonder, but it worked out really well for me. :)

In a way it feels like my stepson got the last portion of my own childhood, because as I look back I was in a much more youthful place with him and his cousins than I am now for my two little ones. Don't get me wrong, I am young at heart and all that, but there is no denying that it is a bit easier to keep up with all the reindeer games when in my mid-twenties than mid-thirties. But he also was around for a version of myself that was less used to children in general.

I am so grateful for this kid in my life. He was the one that made me a mother. He was the person that helped me realize that I actually liked kids and the silly stuff they are constantly doing. And now, this 'kid' in young man form reminds me how fast it all goes. How one minute he's a wacky little boy holding bunny ears behind my head in all pictures and the next minute he's driving to college classes in the car he bought with his own money.

So while my little ones still fill my days with the silliness and the reminder to live in the moment, this boy has taken me to the next level of parenting where reflection lives side by side with wonder. There is still parenting to be done, but much less hands on, much less active. The bond is the same and different. Always the one to break me into the stages of motherhood. This is my first time parenting a young adult, the first kid that I have to let go of a little more each month, even as I hold him closer and speak more frankly to him than ever before. So confusing and rewarding all at once.

So silliness with a dollop of laughter just might be the secret ingredient to happiness true, but the reflection and humbleness that this older child brings to my life is like the spice that deepens the whole recipe. Taking it to another level entirely.

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