You’re 11 years old, and you’re already as tall as me. It makes me so proud of the young man you’re becoming, but also sad over the little boy who isn’t quite so little anymore.
You were my first child, and we have learned so much about the world together, and from each other. You taught me about the beauty of a woman’s body – regardless of its physical composition – due to its ability create and sustain life.
You also taught me about unconditional love, giving me reasons to move forward when I just didn’t think I could take another step. But, I did… because of you.
As you grow older, I realize you’re also teaching me another lesson: how to let go.
It’s a long, slow process, though, and I’ve been working on it since you were a toddler. From your two days per week in preschool, to your first day of kindergarten, to your first “best friend sleepovers,” I’ve have to let you go one moment at a time.
Now, the “letting go” happens more often. Sleepover parties, friend Skype conversations, FaceTime with your besties. You’re more than halfway to college, and you seek more time away than together some days. I want you to do that, but secretly I don’t.
You’re maturing into a wonderful young man, and I couldn’t be more proud of you. But, at the same time, I want to still love you, protect you, and keep the monsters away. Letting go of you means more time alone with myself to wonder if I’ve done enough.
Have I taught you all that you need to be successful and well-adjusted? Have I taught you how to handle yourself in difficult situations? Have you learned how to be a good person and be kind to others? And, have I taught you how to be a good man and how to treat your partner?
Only time will tell.
Until then, we will build Legos and eat pizza. We will snuggle at night and have tickle fests. We will snorkel at the beach and get sand in our shorts. And, we will talk endlessly about your new video game achievements.
Because, until the time comes when you realize how big and wonderful this world is, all I have for you is time.