Friday, October 8, 2010

The Growing Up of a Mama's Boy...Sigh.

We had a big day today. First day of our home school co-op. First day of our new Little Saints Club. And first camping trip for Anthony tonight and tomorrow. It was good and exhausting and I am now feeling a little bit emotional about it. My little kids sat in a classroom and had a teacher other then me. Weird. I tried not to hover and tried to make myself scarce at various points so that they would have a chance to realize that they don't NEED me to interact with other people, that they are their own people. Actually, this is what I wished for Anthony. I was just hoping that Rosie wouldn't pee her pants and that Thomas wouldn't injure anyone in the nursery. We are actually 3 for 3! Everything went really well.

On the way home Anthony was telling me some of the things in the classes and he seemed to have genuinely enjoyed them so I gingerly asked, "did you feel sad or mad or scared when I didn't come back into the room for your second class?" (Rosie had decided that I needed to be with her and like I said, I was trying to put some distance to see if he could acclimate on his own better). His response was, "Well, at first I wasn't used to it but then I just...did what I needed to do. And it didn't take me long to get used to it at all!"
It almost bought tears to my eyes (if I were a crier it would have. Sometimes I wish I was more of a crier - then I wouldn't look like such a clod of a woman). I simultaneously want to push him out of the nest and see what kind of person he will be while also wanting to keep him my little satellite. My extension. My pal. But he "did what he needed to do." He is growing up and my response seems to be, "But...Without me?"

Of course without me! That is the whole point! He has to do it without me or then he's not doing it. If I had stayed in the class with him he wouldn't have participated at all, he would have nudged me to answer any question that was asked of him; he wouldn't have asked the teacher what he was supposed to do next, he would have asked me; he wouldn't have talked to his class partner, I would have talked to his class partner. Instead he "did what he had to do."

And now he's on a guys camp out with his dad, listening to talks by the dads about what makes a good man, looking at Jupiter through his telescope and going fishing for the first time. He and his dad will start their bonding in earnest and I'll fade more into the background. I won't be his all-in-all. And this is as it should be.

I remember thinking when I was pregnant with him that as soon as they cut the umbilical cord that this was the beginning of a long and painful process of letting him go. I was forwarned. But that bond with the first-born is fearfully strong and the idea of him not needing me at every turn makes me ache.

A little part of me died when he traipsed off so happy and excited (and brave) for his camping trip. But I'm so happy for him. Happy that he's becoming more comfortable in his own skin. Happy that other people are getting a chance to see what a great kid he is. Happy that he and his dad have a chance to forge a strong bond. Happy that I won't be his all-in-all forever because I am very well-aware of how short I come up as an all-in-all. He needs to look Elsewhere for that and needs to let go of me in order to start the search. He needs to grow up. And today we took another step down this road that we started down 5 years, 11 months and 3 days ago when his daddy cut the cord. I love that kid. I'm going to miss these early years with him. Things will be good and exciting and in many ways better but man, I'm going to miss how it's been.

Anthony on the first day of school this year. This is his "cool clothes pose". He is not exactly a demonstrative person but he can't seem to help himself when he thinks his clothes are cool. It just slips out.


  1. It's Christine--I love this post. Makes me want to cry too. :-)

  2. Fabulous post! Can't believe my sweet shy boy just up and "did what he needed to do" almost brings me to tears too. Hope Daddy and Tony have a great camping trip. Looking forward to the stories and seeing you all next weekend.

  3. Lex, I loved this post. I did cry. ( I have been rather mushy lately ) When your Mom told me you were starting a home school group, I was inspired to pray for you...all of you. I do pray that this group is a good place for all of you to grow.

  4. yep... cried too. Remembering those first 48 hours when I couldn't stand to have Gracie more than 12 inches from my body... and now I'm sitting at my desk, and she is 10 minutes away... and probably not thinking about Mommy.

    That's a good thing- right?!

    I'd better start psyching myself up for the first camp-out right NOW!

  5. hmmmmm, I am beginning to wonder whether or not this blog is really the place for a 21 year old college guy--I guess it is ok as long as I don't cry. But as soon as you cause me to shed a tear I am gone!