How on earth am I the mom of a 13-year-old? An official teenager. I know, I get it, “time flies” but this is mind-blowing. I merely blinked and all of a sudden here I am mom to a mister know it all, eye rolling middle schooler.

Wasn’t I just yesterday, following that big yellow bus to kindergarten, worrying if you would find your way? Wondering if you would be safe? Wondering if your teacher would be nice? Wondering if you would make friends?

Well if I can be honest, I am still wondering. I wonder and worry a lot about you. I’m still wondering just like I was that very first day of school. I’m wondering if you will find your way, but not just your way to your little kindergarten desk but your way, my oldest, your way in the world.

The days are long and the years are so incredibly short when we are raising little ones. I am still having some long and utterly exhausting days with the girls, your little sisters, but looking back the years seem to have flown by with you my oldest, my son, my now all grown up baby.

Weren’t you just a baby, my first baby, the one I learned all of the nursery rhymes for, the baby who I rocked to sleep every night? It seems like just yesterday you were the one being read to, begging to be read just one more Dr. Seuss story at bedtime. Now here you are solving equations for Y and helping your sister sound out her letters.

You’ve grown up overnight. You tower over me now. You are carrying in the grocery bags for me, your mom, and I am no longer carrying you. You are learning to make scrambled eggs and fend for yourself when it seems it was only a short while ago I, your young mama, was feeding your chubby face pureed carrots from a jar.

Those sweet baby feet are no longer and now sport smelly baseball cleats. I can no longer pick out your clothes and gosh would pay you a million dollars if you would just wear a darn coat.

The Wiggles tunes no longer play from your toy room but rather dreadful rap music from your iPad in your sloppy, locker room smelling bedroom, the room that often have to pry you out of for some air, you know, to make sure you’re still alive up there.

Gone are the days of packing your lunches and finishing them off with napkin notes ”Be nice to everyone, Love, Mom” because, duh you’re cool now. Much to my dismay you’re lunching teen style, cheese fries and Snapple Iced Tea. Speaking of lunch, I often wonder where you sit at lunch and am hoping you feel included by others and ask the new kid to sit with you, too. I wonder who you sit with on this bus, too. Do you run with the crowd or are you a leader? I pray it’s the latter.

Each day I watch you, I may seem busy cooking, cleaning, constantly folding laundry, but I promise I’m watching. I’m watching the way you speak, the way you listen, how you use your manners, and I am sure noticing and cringing when you don’t. I’m watching the way you are figuring this whole life thing out, the way you navigate your newly found opinions and personality in this crazy world.

Well hello, teen years. I can’t say I’m totally ready for you but you’re here and moving at the speed of light. I’ll try and embrace most of this teen business I promise, but I didn’t realize how much less you would need me, my oldest. I didn’t realize how soon you would stop snuggling, how soon the day would come you would no longer need to be reminded to brush your teeth or to do your homework.

I remember vividly all of your firsts but I never knew it at the time but we were having so many “lasts’. You had a last bottle, a last bath, you had a last “tuck in” and a there was a last time holding my hand on a walk.

I know you’ll make mistakes. You’ll forget to text me when you get home and forget to hand in that history project. You’ll probably take the PlayStation remote from our room when you know your screen time was up.

I didn’t know it would happen to me, that you my child would start telling me I have no idea what I’m talking about, that you, my boy would kindly ask me to stop cheering loudly while you’re at bat because it’s “embarrassing” but here we are.

There is so much I do not understand about the teen years but please know I am doing my best. So to my oldest, although I do and will struggle letting you grow up, keep doing your thing. God gave me you, my first blessing, to teach me how to be selfless, how to put another before myself, how to be a mom and for that I can never thank YOU or God enough. You are caring, thoughtful and wise and nothing makes parenting more fulfilling or makes me prouder than when someone else tells me what a nice young man you are becoming. You have mountains to climb and just you still have a great big world ahead of you but please my quickly growing boy, never forget you were and will always be MY baby, my world.

Christina Lezzo

I'm a wife, mom of 3, critical care RN, and NJ living part-time blogger.