Listen, you guys . . .
That thing they always warn you about?
The little boy with the dimples and the wide smile. The one who begged you to play LEGOs for hours and always said he wanted to marry YOU when he grew up. That little love of your life . . .
Suddenly, you’ll blink and he’ll be turning 12 next week. A full-blown tween. A pre-teen. Practically a teenager.
And before you know what is happening, he’ll be obnoxious and run his sassy mouth and roll his eyes and pick fights with his siblings as his form of “play.” He’ll stop building LEGOs and ask repeatedly to play video games.
You’ll wonder where that sweet little boy went.
And then you’ll panic.
Because you can’t remember the last time you pushed him on the swings.
Was it the backyard swings?
Or the park?
How old was he that last time?
Did you give him an underdog?
Did he ask you once but you were too busy picking up dog poop in the yard, so you absent-mindedly replied “just pump your legs” so he never asked again?
You’ll want to cry over this.
But listen to me now: it’s OK.
Because this next stage?
It’s different and frustrating and weird. But I promise it is lovely too.
Let me tell you about this great new thing called The Front Seat.
Suddenly, the little boy who’s been buckled in a car seat in the back for SO LONG is big enough to sit in the front seat of the car.
And you’ll be driving him EVERYWHERE. Basketball practice and soccer games and late nights with friends. So, every single day you’ll have this unexpected one-on-one time with your boy.
He’ll fiddle with the radio and turn it up way too loud. He’ll eat all your gum. He’ll tell you stories about school or friends or Fortnite or a funny meme and you’ll notice how his dimples flash as he gives you his wide smile.
If you’re lucky, sometimes a good song will come on so you’ll both sing together at the top of your lungs and he won’t roll his eyes or think you’re annoying at all.
It will make you want to cry.
I’m telling you, it’s even better than pushing him on the swings because every single day you realize a little more what an amazing person he is becoming.
That little boy you always knew is right there . . . and somehow this beautiful new person is emerging, too.
It is lovely.
I mean, really . . . isn’t it lovely to know a person from his very first breath and watch him become a confident young man right before your very eyes?
I’m beginning to think this is how LIFE is going to go.
We’ll panic and believe the best parts are over.
We’ll cry and mourn the passing of another stage.
But then we’ll be surprised again and again at the next breathtakingly beautiful moment to come along.
Just think, one day you’ll cry at his wedding. And another day, you might hold his newborn baby in your arms.
My goodness, girls, I think the only thing we can do is sit back and soak it in and just enjoy this beautiful little life . . . one lovely moment at a time.
This post originally appeared on Ordinary on Purpose, by Mikala Albertson