The problem with kids is they grow up. One day they’re snuggling with you and thinking you have a PhD in Valuable Opinions. Soon they’re furious that you dared ask them to put their shoes away, and embarrassed by your dorky outfit. As for snuggling, you rate below the dog. Maybe even the fish. My rant is a cliché, but my pain is real. You just wait until it happens to you.
I was caught as unawares by this as a bystander at a Siberian meteor crash. I should have known: I have a precocious 10-year-old. But damnit, 13, I took your suffix at face value and you lied to me!
If you know the heartache of a breakup, you know the emptiness of the transition to mother-of-a-tweenager. A furtive glance… an attempt to get her to just look at me during dinner; a longing for one last kiss… a longing for even a peck on the cheek; the empty bed where there used to be an embrace… the spit in the eye when I rouse her in the morning; the memory of your lover’s scent… leaning over my child when she sleeps to inhale the dying embers of that baby smell. It’s as it should be, so I put a good face on it. But I’m bereft in a way I never expected to be.
She’s begged for a “regular” bed, so we’ve given her bunks away and await the delivery of the new bed. She can sleep with me, or alone in the guest room on the lower level. When she chose downstairs (dashing my hope for prolonged snuggling), I protested that she had always been afraid to sleep down there by herself. “That was a thing of the past,” she asserted, “and I am a thing of the future.”
If you have a child in your life – your own or another that you’re close to – stop and smell the roses. Make time in your busy life to spend time with that child when they’re young. They will be gone to you before you know it.
Tags: 13, childhood, parents, teenager, tweens