It has crept up on me faster than I would have liked, I wish time would slow down!
This year is the last year of formal schooling for my boy, my last year having a child around the home, my last year to squeeze in all of the things a busy school mum does. And, it is easy in the craziness of weekly life to miss the moments that truly matter. The matters of the heart and soul continue to need shaping, and the shaping of a teenage character still requires a-lot-of-work! True, it looks quite different ... a lot less chiselling and a whole lot of polishing ... and there are days where a bit of chipping might even occur (you know, that exasperation point when they think they know everything and your ideas are sooo antiquated!)
As we smooth out the rough edges of a teenager crossing over into manhood (with all of the antiquated foresight of someone who has been around longer than the dinosaurs), I must confess that I don't always get it right! Trying to find the balance between how I was raised and the times my teenager is living in are indeed a world apart, and I truly get that. I accept that I am old fashioned (who would have thought being born at the tail end of last century would come to this!) and am okay with it, well sometimes!
Yes, I still expect respect, chores and manners (especially at the dinner table and yes, I know that other families don't mind how their children eat ... and that slouching, chomping and grunting are all accepted forms of behaviour and that I am all alone on these issues, yadda yadda!!)
I have to remind myself that there are bigger fish to fry and have to choose my battles wisely. I'm learning to stay firm on the critical issues and flexible on the minor issues. So there are times when I try to ignore the slouching and chomping and the monosyllabic responses (apparently it is actually a REAL phase, all this grunting is actually rather common so I'm led to believe ... poor boys, first their voices squeak when their manly voices begin to develop only to be taken over by guttural one word statements on the verge of manhood) all in the hope of connecting on a deeper level. I have been known to throw up my hands in desperation with the lack of articulate language coming forth, which I know lurks somewhere deep within my son. The monosyllabic replies of 'yep', 'ok', 'no', 'aha' can be irritating. If I'm to wade through the first load of grating grunting, I can be rewarded by occasional moments of brilliant sunshine! When that happens, I have to be careful to say little and really truly listen so that I don't miss the glorious glimpse of the the person he is becoming.
So, in this year of lasts, (who knows this might be my last year of butting heads, wouldn't that be nice!) I purpose to embrace my sons last year of being a teenage-boy-man-child with all the last-loving-of-boyhood 'mother love' that I can muster. See you on the other side.