Thursday, May 10, 2012

On his tenth birthday!

In a few short weeks my oldest will turn ten, G-d willing.   Yes, ten years have flown by and there are many, many things I still have to figure out about this mothering business.  But I remember that wonderful spring day very well, when this long awaited beautiful boy was born.  Ah, the hazel, sometimes almost amber eyes, the curly hair (his nemesis since he was about five), the suntanned face, the impish grin, the keen intelligence, the quick wit and  at times too quick tongue.  He wanted to be in control of everything since the moment he came into the world.  The son who is so like me on the outside and on many days such a mystery to me on the inside.  He with whom my mothering journey has started.  He is full of surprises, this spirited child.  So often he is a ball of contradictions. In many ways, he is a typical oldest child- responsible and mature and in many ways he really struggles to harmonize the many disparate parts of him.   Despite his considerable talents, he finds (and makes) so many things challenging.  He is so aware of everything and everyone around him.  He finds transitions difficult.  He is growing up in so many ways.  Just today, for the umpteenth time he points out how he is almost as tall as I am.  He amazes me with his insights and out of the left field remarks.  He's got his way with words.  He loves to read.  He has his dreams.  He has a million plans.  He is dipping his toes into the world of adulthood.  I remember myself at this age.  It was definitely a transition year.  Once he wanted to be a teacher.  Once he dabbled in doing business.  Today, it's the military that beckons to him.  I was at first surprised ( he who was once so uncoordinated, he who likes his creature comforts) but the more I think about it, the more I see how it could really suit his personality.  Only time will tell.  Yes, ten years old.  In ten more, G-d willing, he'll be a grown man, a husband, a father perhaps !  I have a hard time sometimes conveying adequately to him just how fantastic I think he is, that my love for him has just grown since the time he was an intense and sweet little bundle.   So many times these days I keep thinking how I don't want the love and sweetness and closeness to be lost in the sea of growing pains and struggles.  I need to remember to convey the approval that he so much seeks.   This wonderful (if sometimes difficult) boy is turning into a man faster than I could have imagined.  Some days, the frustrations are many for both of us, at the end of the day, I feel drained and exhausted as I cross another finish line in another day of demanding parenting.  But then, as I give him his goodnight kiss and we chat a bit as I sit by his bedside, he says " You know, I love YOU mommy. It's the work I don't like".  And I know that with all the creative endeavors that are waiting for me out there, nothing will ever equal in creativity or importance to this gargantuan task of helping a child to traverse this terrain of childhood, in uncovering and developing the person he or she was meant to become.  Happy birthday, dear boy, may Hashem bless you and guide you in all your ways, today and always.


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