Sunday, January 16, 2011

A Ray of Hope

Our oldest turned eleven last week.  That's right, eleven.  We are swiftly moving towards the teen years and fully immersed in the new "tween" years.  Scary!  And while this stage of parenthood brings a set of challenges that I feel much more equipped to handle than sleepless nights,  I dread them all the same.  I miss the boy who used to cuddle on my lap.  The little guy who wanted to hold our hands.  And yet I appreciate his independence.  I love that he can pour himself a glass of milk and nuke something to eat.  I love that he still needs our help and advice on occasion.  I must say, he is a really good kid.  He has his moments of course, because he is an eleven year old boy, but man I love him!  And for all his tween rebellion, for every moment where he thinks he knows better, there are the moments that bring tears to our eyes.  The ones that let us know we have raised a kind, generous, caring young man. 

When he still wanted to cuddle!
The other day, C totally came through with one of those "this is why we do it" moments.  He went to rehearsals at school for the yearly musical and came home to ask if he could go to the exchange with a friend.  They rode their bikes down to look at video games and buy soda and snacks for themselves.   Well, our big, bad eleven year old comes home happy, a little cold, and handing out gifts????  What?  Seriously.  They were just little things.  A Coke for dad and peanut M&M's for mom, but man, they were worth a million dollars to us.  No one asked him for these things, he bought them out of the kindness of his heart.   That he remembered things we love and bought them, with his money, was jaw dropping.   All I wanted to do was hug him!  I felt like the queen of England! 

At the end of  this year's football season
It's these little things that make every struggle of parenting worth it!  Sleepless nights to the fight to go to sleep at night are worth it at that moment.   Those arguments about homework...worth it.  He may be showing us in a different way now that he loves us, but so long as it comes straight from the heart it's appreciated.  And it may just cause me to cry.  Who am I kidding?  These days, it probably will!

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