Yesterday I went to kiss my 12 year old son on top of his head like I always do, when he suddenly pulled back and said, "Don't kiss me, Mom."
Okay. I ruffled his sandy hair with my hand instead, smiled, and watched him run down the hall.
Can I just say that stung? A lot.
How do I explain to him that when I look at him I still see the little staggering toddler who used to reach above his head with his pudgy little baby hands and beg me to "Hold you, me!" (Translation: Pick me up, dear Mother) Who loved to snuggle in my lap every night for a good night story?
The hardest part of parenting, you would think, would be the sleepless nights,...the toilet training,... the burying of dead and beloved pets,... the watching them suffer when they have an allergic reaction gone-wrong from an antibiotic and they writhe in pain for six weeks because of it....
Maybe the hardest part is knowing when to realize that little boy is gone and stepping back to watch him become a man.