My oldest is turning 12 this summer. Not so much a kid anymore...but not quite a teenager. Even the title of 'young man' seems a little off putting and out of place. Mikey is graduating elementary school next week and heading for Jr high in the fall. I, admittedly, am not ready by any means for this change. I have been dreading it ever since he brought home the paperwork for enrollment to Jr High. (it took me 3 weeks to bring myself to fill out the papers) This is really the time that I have been questioning my 'my work' as a parent the most. Have I raised a self thinker? Have I taught him to trust his own judgement and make decisions that are from his own thinking and not from what the other kids in school are doing? I cannot begin to explain the anxiety that I feel for him entering into this new chapter of his life. It is something that I find myself worrying about more and more every day.
This summer...I will be focused on him the most...preparing him the best that I can. We will have ' the talk' about sex education (although i have no idea how i will even begin this talk...but rest assured...mr c will be called on to assist in this discussion). He will be given more responsibility. This might be the hardest part of letting him grow up for me. I am the mother that still will not let my children walk to their school that is only 5 minutes away from home alone, for fear of what might happen. I am a mother that has been home with my children since day one. This has been the greatest blessing of my life thus far. Letting go a little, and putting so much trust and faith in Mikey and in my parenting is going to be difficult for me. I don't want to hold him back...but I want to be sure. Sure that everything that I have taught him about being kind and good, and not giving into pressure from his peers and thinking for himself all the while knowing how valuable this time in his life is.
Parenting has got to be the most difficult of jobs. In essence...we are responsible for molding our children. We are responsible for giving them proper guidelines and tools for life. We are responsible for keeping our babies close and helping them develop who they are and then later, knowing when it is time to pull back and give them their own freedoms to develop the rest on their own. This is exactly where find myself with my oldest son. He is ready to start some of the work on who he is...on his own. I'm just not ready for that. Not yet.
I really don't know of any greater challenge or blessing in this life.