Today was a big day in my life as a mom. My oldest son got braces put on. Not only was it one of my most expensive days as a mom (Holy freakin cow, those teeth are worth a lot now!), but it was one of those moments where I had to face the inevitable fact that my son is growing up. (I tried to get a picture, but he sent me the look of death. He's not into smiling with the shiny mouth yet.)
Being that I'm five months pregnant now, I'm on the emotional side all the time. And lately that emotion has been running toward thoughts of my little baby growing up. He's turning twelve next month, and his voice has started cracking, peach fuzz has started gathering on his upper lip, and he's suddenly more interested in pizza than he is his mom. Instead of drawing pictures of us playing together, he's now drawing pictures of the girl he likes at school. He avoids family time at all costs, preferring to Skype in his room with friends. And those sweet, chubby little baby cheeks? A thing of the past.
Maybe it wouldn't seem so pronounce to me, if I didn't also have a 2 year old son, doing the adorable cuddly toddler routine, keenly reminding me of how much my Big Boy has changed on daily basis. Every time Toddler Man busts out in his high-pitched toddler voice with a chorus of "Thomas the Tank Engine", I get nostalgic for the days when Big Boy used to hound me to play trains with him. Now he hounds me to take him to the mall, then disappear so he can hang out with his friends. When Toddler Man wants to read a story, or "sto-wy", I can't help thinking of when I read the same board books to my Big Boy - and how once never was enough. "Again, again, again!" These days, Big Boy reads on his own, answering my questions about his current book in single words like "fine", "good", or "sucks".
So, as painful as getting braces was for my son, I think it might have been even more painful or me being faced with just one more sign that he is no longer my cuddly little baby. I actually teared up today, watching him bravely go into the exam room on his own. (Which, of course, made him roll his eyes and shake his head at me.) In my defense, I am pregnant and even teared up at a diaper commercial last week.
So, any of you moms out there have tips for coping with the wait-I'm-not-ready-for-a-grown-up-kid-yet syndrome? You know, other than having a new baby. ;)
~Trigger Happy Halliday
P.S. If any of you are in the L.A. area, please come see me next week, March 29th, at the Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in Redondo Beach.
P.P.S. I've started a new reader appreciation program called Free Book Friday on my Facebook page where I highlight free ebooks every week. So stop by today and pick up some free reads for the weekend!