You’re in between little boy and teenager, and many days you seem a mixture of both.

Some moments I’m surprised by how old you’re acting, and others I’m taken back by your boyish energy, sparkle, and innocent curiosity about this big world you haven’t quite grown into yet.

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You still hug me tight and shower me with compliments. But other times you pull away, stretching out my heartstrings a little further each time.

And it hurts a little because I know you’re not so little anymore. 

You constantly ask for snacks and walk around the house with your hoodie and headphones on while listening to Adventures in Odyssey. Sometimes you still dress like a superhero and fight imaginary bad guys. 

You practice tricks on your skateboard and my mama-bear heart beats a little faster as I simultaneously try to cheer you on while holding my breath in fear. 

How did you grow so much in a year? 

When asked how you’re feeling, sometimes you still pour out your whole heart as you melt in my arms. But then other times you respond with a grumpy, “Fine.”

And it hurts a little. I don’t always know whether to let you go or hold you closer, but I know I can’t hold time. 

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You see, I’m growing into all this, too. But we’ll get through—we always do. 

You feel so big . . . but still look so young. I love who you are and who you’re becoming while quietly missing the littler you.

I’m a sentimental mama transforming into Mom, and it’s just hard to accept that soon boyhood days will be long gone. 

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I know one day I’ll look back at this and think how little you were. I’ll chuckle at myself for once thinking how big you looked as I’m looking up at you. 

You’ll tower over me one day, but you’ll always be my boy. 

“For the joy” is what I thought on the final push before you entered this big world. As we grow, our hearts might break a little, but with the pain comes greater joy. 

I know you’ll never understand the way a mama loves.

The way I’ll always miss the early days when you felt all mine.

And that’s OK, and I’ll be fine . . .

Just growing into the mama of a boy just nine.

Stephanie Kramm

Stephanie is a wife and mom of three wild, loveable little boys who spent several years ministering with her family overseas. When she's not homeschooling, sword-fighting, or playing make-believe, she enjoys learning about art, music and play therapy, and advocating for at-risk women and children. Her Master's is in counseling and she and her husband are the founders of a children's ministry in Southeast Asia.