“Happy Birthday!”….I’ve always loved celebrating my kids’ birthdays..I think it’s a special time that should have special traditions. And honestly, now they’re probably a little spoiled as they’ve come to expect some of those special things on their special day. For more years than I can count, the birthday kid gets oversized pancakes for breakfast, balloons, and a dinner of their request. I see other friends and family get all choked up and tear up at the thought of their children “growing up”. So far, I haven’t been sad…more thankful really that they’re still here with me. It does seem like just yesterday that I held him in my arms for the first time, but no tears. We are far luckier than some who have limited or no more time with their children. Who am I to be sad that they grow up…isn’t that what we want them to do?
I always tell people, “every stage is fun and challenging in it’s own way”…and it really is. To be honest, a crying baby makes my stomach hurt a little these days…and to think about changing diapers again…don’t judge me, but it makes me cringe. The snuggles were fantastic…and I soaked in every second I could, but I’ve loved each stage so much, there’s no way I wanted to go backwards. There are people with far more jewels in the crown waiting on them than me, those families who take in other children who need a loving family…and they make them their own. I admire them so very much, but so far in this life, I have not felt led to travel the same path. Three was our number…it just seemed to stick.
Carson turned fourteen today…second year having a teenager and it doesn’t bother me at all. I feel like he’s growing into a young man…living up to my sometimes unreasonable expectations, and sometimes more mature than I give him credit for. He has always loved having me right by his side…he loves to be with people, and is a “mama’s boy” for sure (for a little longer)…and I love it! I’m pretty satisfied that I’m still his #1…for now:) He has said for a while that he “doesn’t have time for girls”, although this year there seems to be a shift…he has big dreams of Auburn University and attending Vet School there…he knows he has to stay focused and work hard to get there…he knows we married at 27, and he says he will be at least that old before he does the same. (I can hope, right?!)
We have been rocking it…cruising in our own little world…cuddling at times…bickering some times…lots of hugs, then sometime last fall, I leaned down to kiss him goodnight and got smacked right in the head with a brick.
Earlier that week, he had asked a little girl to be his girlfriend…and I heard it from someone else…he didn’t tell me himself. Not gonna lie…it crushed my soul a little…and my ego. I pride myself in that my kids will tell me the most personal details…God knows they tell me plenty of things I don’t want to know…so how would he not feel ok to tell me he kind of liked a girl? It’s normal for a 7th grader to have a girlfriend, and I honestly feel like it’s necessary to some degree as kids learn to navigate through feelings…and drama:) He knew we didn't ’t allow social media, he didn’t have a phone at the time (according to him, he was the only one his age that didn’t own one).
And even though I know it’s normal…I cried. Yep, I cried about a milestone. Not because he was older, not because he had a girlfriend for the moment…but because this was the first time in his life that I had not been the only girl he really cared about. I’ve always been his #1…and even though I currently still am, it hit me hard that one day I won’t be. One day, just as God would have it, he will grow up and have someone else…someone else to hold him…someone else to console him when he’s upset…someone else to take care of him when he’s sick…someone else that wants to smack him sometimes…all of that stung a little.
That girlfriend from last year didn’t last long…she decided she wanted to break up…he didn’t cry, but I hugged him anyway. He’s had one girlfriend since…over the summer - I allowed them to write letters, but that ended before summer was over. He’s crushing on a girl now…and they’re getting to know each other better.
My rules haven’t changed about relationships. I know some of my friends think I’m a bit over-protective, but as of right now we don’t allow texting to girlfriends, there aren’t phone calls to or from, we aren’t meeting anyone out for dinner or a movie…girlfriend/boyfriend is for school. At fourteen, there’s not much more time that he gets to be a kid…relationships can get messy and complicated very quickly at this age, so judge me all you want, but we are taking our time on those things. And he’s cute…like, really cute!
He’s growing up, and not far behind him are Effie and Cullen. I may never get upset when we sing Happy Birthday every year, but that moment last year sort of came out of nowhere.
Fourteen years ago, I labored for over 22 hours, pushing for almost three of those…then, they put a lop-sided sweet and big boy in my arms and he was perfect. It seems like yesterday that I met him, and I’m so thankful that God is sharing him with me. I’ll keep praying for all of my kiddos, for them in their daily life…and start praying that somewhere God is preparing the perfect soulmate for all of them…meanwhile, excuse me while I go and hold this precious birthday boy of mine…while I’m still his #1.
Let me love you a a little more…before you’re not little anymore.