the duke never did any of the things the books said he would. at least not when they said he would do them. he was always on his own schedule and there wasn't a thing i or anyone else could do about it. from sleeping (or NOT as the case may be) to nursing to everything else, his babyhood kept me on my toes.
when he became a toddler all the books said he would 'LOVE to help mommy around the house!' give him jobs to do! helping sort socks! and then when he became a preschooler...emptying the paper waste! sorting recycling! etc. etc. give him these jobs because he will beg for them anyway!
yeah, not so much. not only did he have no interest in all the things they said he would, he did not want to stop nursing on his own because he's a 'big boy now!' ditto for moving to his own bed, using the potty, etc. and because i am his mama and love him beyond belief i didn't worry about these 'schedules' and let him be who he was. is.
(okay, i know, i said long ago i wouldn't blog about him anymore because he's getting older and it isn't fair to him. BUT i have to get this out.)
so, all those things he did on his own time frame i suppose i thought that growing up would be different, too. i thought it might happen, you know, later. shit, i really thought i had more time.
but in the last week he's asked for skinny jeans (in red), is wearing plaid because he knows it's 'in,' and started combing his hair (!!). and this may seem fairly benign to some, but to me it's huge and sweet and sad.
i'm not ready. while i have spent since the day i conceived him, before even, preparing him for every step, for every development, for being an actual autonomous human being, i'm not ready for it.
okay, he's 12. i get it. it's age appropriate and he isn't moving out anytime soon. so again, to some it might seem a bit much to be boohooing over now. but it isn't a bit much to me. i'm his mama. how could anything ever be a 'bit much?'
and before i know it, this ride is done. and i have to be supportive and happy about the next ride. and did i mention that i don't like it? one little bit? and no, i don't want to tie him to my apron, but i also don't want him to start wanting to do other things. you know, away from us. his own things with other people. and eventually, just 'away.'
i don't know if it's because being his mama is what i 'do.' the stay at home, home schooling part. in essence, raising him is also my 'job.' hmmm, could have planned that one better, huh?
oh crap. now, i'm no expert, but i'm almost certain there's a therapy session, or two, in there somewhere.
but really i think it goes beyond that. because for 12 years he's been here. i mean physically *here.* in reach. for a hug or a snuggle or to just hang out. and there is a part of me that thinks that as this phase ends and another begins that perhaps i took a lot of it for granted. did i do enough? did i cherish it enough?
oh jeeze, that'll tack on another session right there. and i'm almost certain once i start there isn't enough money in the world to see me through therapy.
because as my children move from one phase to the next, i'm always wondering if this is the age where i drop the ball. that i finally lose my shit and can't handle it. nobody teaches you how to be a parent, and as much as there are books and 'experts' and well intentioned advice thrown your way, parenting is often you on your own little ice floe just waiting to either be rescued or eaten by the polar bear. do polar bears even eat people? see! i don't even know THAT! how am i qualified to be a parent!
ah, and the 'Either, or' sentence gets put into play. hmmm, what if those are both whack choices? non-choices? am i screwing my own self with fucked up logic?
jesus. i need to get out more. i suppose i could start with the therapy. or just simple interaction with other adults. drinking. a drink sounds good right about now.
anyhow, the long and the short of it is that i really like the duke. i think he's truly a neat kid. he makes me crazy and he makes me laugh. and i want him around. and i'm sad that as he does his normal human development thing that that may not always happen. and eventually, will not always happen.
and i know i'm supposed to appreciate the time i have and all that. but i will tell you what, my heart is sticky. and if it attaches it's all i can do to just not miss the hell out of people. jesus if i'm still writing about the college boyfriend i loved who dumped me almost 20 years ago (fucker) then we all know i have a problem. or two.
so my own child? yeah.
and again, i know this is all premature, because as i speak he's on the floor bopping along to whatever is in his headphones, constructing something or other out of legos. speaking in the eastern european/columbian accent he's perfected. thinking about what soda to choose for family movie night tonight, if he'll play all game again tomorrow in soccer, if this new friend zach might become a really good friend. good enough to have over to start his D&D club. he's just the duke. not some boy on the edge of breaking his mother's heart just by doing exactly what he's supposed to do.
god how do any of us ever survive.
i know it's going to be worth it in the end. separating healthily, me putting my big girl panties on and being the parent. letting him go with support and a smile. letting him know this is 'okay.' him becoming his own person. even while my heart is cracking just a bit inside. and there's parenting in a nutshell. i should make bumper stickers.
but this is what we want as parents, right? to be able to cast them gently out? right? this is normal. necessary.
oh god. and i haven't even covered 'dating' in my little bubble of tears and what ifs, etc. etc. etc.!
jesus. screw therapy. what does a girl have to do to get a drink around here?
and red skinny jeans? really?