What Happened to My Little Boy?

I don't want to be that mom.  You know, the one who gets all misty because "her little boy" is now grown up.  I wasn't going to be that mom.  I WAS NOT going to be that mom.

I'm that mom...

My son did not suddenly sprout up.  (He's been growing by leaps and bounds for over a year.)  I've known for a long time that he's nearly 6 feet tall.  (It's rather obvious...especially as I just a smidge under 5'1".)  His voice dropped over the past couple of years.  I've heard it.  It's not a sudden surprise.  He wanted (and received) an electric razor for Christmas.  It very obvious that this is no little kid.  As a matter of fact, most people who meet him think that he is fifteen or sixteen.

So WHY is this all of the sudden hitting me?  Why am I lamenting the loss of a cuddly little boy?  

It MAY have something to do with the fact that I recently purchased a digital photo frame.  (From my local thrift shop...it's a "model" that's over 10 years old and can only store 12 photos.  I managed to sort of bypass that by inserting a SD card that stores over 100.)  Instead of the physical photos that surround my cubicle which are more current; I now glimpse over and see photos of a baby, a toddler, a little boy...I see a photo of him in his first sports coat. (My son has pretty much ALWAYS been a snazzy dresser.)  I see a photos from Halloweens past when he was a monkey (age 2), fireman (age 3), vampire (ages 4 & 5) and so on.  I see the days when he was SHORTER than me.  I see all this and I have a longing for little boy who cuddled up to me and watched "Curious George" on PBS Kids.

It also doesn't help that my Facebook feed keeps bringing up video "memories" from years ago.  There's that little boy joyously dancing around the office with no rhyme or rhythm.  Or the little boy who is just learning to read.  It tugs at my heartstrings just to think about it.

Throw into the mix that we had HIGH SCHOOL orientation last week.  Yes, I DID say HIGH SCHOOL.  HIGH SCHOOL!!  Now back in my day (shortly after dinosaurs roamed the earth), there was no orientation (that I can recall).  Maybe you got a choice or two. (I know I didn't take history my freshman year, which I do regret, but I DID take chorus.  My regret there is I didn't know how to continue on with that for the remainder of my high school years with the schedule that I had, which I believe was assigned to me.  I don't recall having too much say in the matter.)  Now there are options galore!  There are electives and study paths.  (Who the heck knows what the heck they want to be doing for 4 years?  Maybe there are kids who know EXACTLY what they want to do when they "grown up."  As for me, I'm in my 50s and I'm still trying to figure it out!)  Should he be taking college prep, honors or AP?!?! (What happened to "regular?")  Will he be able to do theater AND art?  Will he continue on with music?  (PLEASE!  I'll admit that I'm pushing in the direction of band AND chorus.  At the very LEAST chorus.  While I'd love for him to do both for all 4 years; I'd at least like him to give it a try for the first year.  But while I may prod, ultimately, he's going to make a decision.)  How can this kid be heading into high school?  My boy?  High School?

Damn, I HAVE become that mom!

I'm not going to embrace it, but I'm not going to condemn it either.  I'm going to allow myself a little sorrow at this passage.  At the same time, I'm going to permit myself to be proud of the young man that he has become.  (Even while I nag him to study French, practice his trumpet and put the cap back on the toothpaste!)

I AM that Mom.


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