I’m at this stage of parenting. You know, the one when I hardly catch their faces in photos anymore but instead the back of their head as they walk away

Today, my boys rode their bikes to the neighborhood lake to meet up with some friends to go fishing. They had already been there for some time before one of them called me.  

“Hi Mom, can you bring me some frozen corn for some bait?” 

“Sure,” I said. “I am in the middle of something but I will be there soon.” 

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So, I took a pause of what I was doing. I grabbed some corn from the freezer, invited the dog to join me for the short drive, and then met them in the parking lot of the neighborhood lake.

I rolled the window down and watched him run up to the car. I tossed him the frozen bag of corn, and he said “Thanks!” before he turned around to run back to meet his friends. It was so quick before he spun off back down the stairs and onto the lake deck.

It’s true, I could have said no to his request. I could have told him I was in the middle of something and I couldn’t bring him frozen corn for fishing. I could have told him I didn’t have time or taught them a lesson about not being prepared. But I didn’t.

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Instead, I took a few minutes to meet his need, and in the process, I got to see his smiling face even if it meant for a short minute before he spun away and did the Griddy down the stairs back toward his friends. 

As I watched him go down the stairs further away from me, I saw the back of his Columbia baseball cap bop up and down. I smiled a little and snapped this photo. One of which I have far too manythe backs of their heads. But, I’ve decided to take it as a sign of new adventures ahead. I felt a sense of gratitude about how proud I am of them as they thrive in tweenhood.

I hope they turn to me when they need something in adolescence. I hope they know I’ll be there for the small things, like frozen corn, but more importantly the big things too. 

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Dena Wentz

Writer, social worker, wife, and mom of 2 boys trying to make the world a better place. Cardboard, Joy, and More and Ana's Little Free Library are our two special projects. Mailboxes are my favorite way to share joy. Follow me at my Facebook page @What We've Got is Gold.

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