We are in the throes of it- you and I. Although one could say parents and children are always in the throes of something, aren’t they?
We’ve got this push-pull thing going on. You want so much to push when I ask you to pull. Then you just have to pull if I so much as suggest a push. You want to be your own young man- not just my son. You want independence and all the decision making power. Until you don’t. Suddenly you are incapable of the most mundane of tasks and you want me to do everything for you. That’s not annoying at all, by the way.
I tell you to take a shower and wash your hair. You tell me you’ll wear a hat. I grab you a hat. And now you want to shower up. I recommend you wear a jacket. You tell me you don’t need it. And surprise surprise! You’re freezing 30 minutes later. I say “clean your room” and you tell me it’s already “done.” There seems to be some confusion on the meaning of “done.” I’d say it means”complete”. You say it means “good enough.” For the record, your definition is wrong.
And so we are in this place of Mom vs Son. Conversations quickly becoming skirmishes. Wouldn’t it just be faster to grab the jacket, take the shower, clean the entire room rather than argue about it? Apparently not. I guess every argument, last word, and alternate suggestion is a small victory for you.
I miss your sweet. I remember your snuggly. This new Tough Guy with a pinch of huff and puff and a heaping spoon of attitude is not cute nor is it sweet. I’m a little sad, a tiny annoyed and a whole hell of a lot frustrated.
For a moment I think “It’s not you. It must be me.”
Then I remember battles over hair styles and clothes, too much time on the telephone. and boys. There were years of eyeballs rolling so high I’m surprised they never disappeared into my cranium. I can recall the sound of my own huffs and puffs with perfect clarity. And I definitely remember the words I said without using any words at all. I mastered “the look.” The one that screamed “Whatever!” Oh and the hours spent sitting on the couch- defiance rippling off me in waves and the set of my shoulders that spoke of my unwillingness to listen. Oh the memories.
And I think- It’s not me at all. It’s you. Totally and completely you.
If you remember nothing else as we navigate through Those Years, my darling son, remember this: Ilove you. Fiercely. Passionately. Without end or beginning but everything in between. It just is.
And so, when it’s you and not me, I will love you enough to stand my ground. I will love you enough to make you go back when you say it’s “done” until it’s really “done.” I will take away your prized electronics when you lie or disobey. And I will send you to your room because we do not tolerate eye rolling and words hidden under a breath.
And when we are in the thick of it during Those Years- the real ones coming down the pike- I’ll love you enough to keep you home if I think your destination is not safe. I’ll love you enough to say no when all the cool moms are saying yes. No matter how much you hate me for it. Because that’s love.
When you were little, and Those Years were only those years, we said we loved one another to the moon and back. It remains that way for me- even when it’s you and not me. And I think it’s safe to say you love me that much as well- even when you know it’s you and not me.
This growing up stuff is tough and it will just get tougher, from what I hear. But just remember- It’s not me. It’s you. Totally you. And I still love you.
It’s not you, it’s me. Actually, it’s totally you.