Last night, my almost-teenager hit a moment of sadness realizing that his days of being coddled by his mother had left him. It’s hard growing up: No longer a wee-one, yet still wanting to be mothered. I can totally relate. Many a time, I find myself wishing there was someone to read me a bedtime story and tuck me in for the night. In fact, last night was one of those nights.
I looked at my son, in his almost-taller-than-me body, wearing his little-boy sad-face. My heart ached a little too for, at that moment, I too realized that my boy was growing up. It seems like just yesterday I was singing lullabies and rocking him to sleep. Soon, the days of being able to fuss over my boy in this way will be gone. And, with YaYa being my youngest, there won’t be any more to fill the gap. In fact, if he is anything like the others (and I hope he is not), I’ll be lucky to get as much as a phone call from him other than Mother’s Day and Christmas.
“Go get a book,” I told him. He rushed off and, minutes later, brought back a favorite of ours: Casey at the Bat. Before we started, I threw a blanket over his legs and invited him to sit beside me as in years past. We huddled around the familiar book as I read to him with my most animated reading voice. When the book was finished, I sent him back to his own room noting that almost-teenagers don’t sleep in their mommy’s bed. To that, he commented, “I sometimes wish I wasn’t almost a teen.” And I replied, “Me too, YaYa. Me too.”
I followed to his room and tucked him into his bed in the most exaggerated burrito-like fashion – like his dad used to do. Then I jokingly told him that next time he’d be the one reading me a story and tucking me into bed. He smiled — widely.