Nope. Not a kid’s book in the making…although, don’t steal it, I reserve the right to use it at a later date.
Nah, this is one of those emotional posts. Milestones do that. While I held it together and didn’t cry last night, there were a few moments where I found myself taking a deep breath and capturing, savoring the here and now.
My eldest has ‘graduated’ from 8th grade. Though not like an American affair with all the pomp and circumstance with caps and gowns, there was still no shortage of speeches and endless thanking and patting on the back. We sat in the stadium seating for over 3 hours, listening to some school bands rock out on electric guitars, keyboard and drums and even a violin. We watched the play (though a bit violent – but thankfully with a happy ending). We watched them get called up to the stage to receive their parting gifts accompanied with a smile from their teachers and sometimes even the man hug. (You know the one, sort of where they grab hands, bang the body and slap each other on the back).
I waited with bated breath for my man-boy to come on stage and the dramatic way he portrayed his character surprised me. He played the small role of a Polish boy in WWII, but significant non-the-less. I sat in awe that he had no fear, remembering his lines and really acting the part. (Not like his mama when she got white as a ghost when it was her turn in the camp play). He was humble and shy at the end when it was time to take his bow but loud and boisterous when all the graduates rushed the stage and jumped in unison in huddle formation chanting their class something that sounded like a ‘go 8th grade, go 8th grade…’
He had his arms around the guys next to him when the music got emotional and it was so bittersweet. He was in the moment, as were they all, that this was their big moment and they were sharing it together.
My perception of this man-boy all through school was perhaps wrong. I always thought he was the awkward kid, who did not mature (socially) as quickly as some of the others, who was a little ‘off’ and never hung out with guys playing sports or just ‘hanging out’ on a given Saturday afternoon. However, yesterday, watching him with some of the other guys – I saw no awkwardness, I saw a comradeship amongst teens. It was really emotional for me as a mother to watch this transformation. He gets more comfortable in his new skin every day. There is growth by the millisecond, in physicality as well as maturity. He even took out the garbage just because he saw it was getting full. When I asked him why he was taking out the garbage (because it was just so out of the ordinary) his response was, “isn’t it obvious”?
Without getting to analogous to fertility and how babies are born, I’ll leave it to you to make the connection between the title of this post and the content. My first baby is getting more mature by the day and I need to look back at pictures to remember him as a tow-headed toddler and our first every-things as parents. I still have some fine tuning to do and am glad he’ll be local for high school so I can still sort of mold this human into the decent man I have such high hopes for. It’s just so bittersweet. I love watching him become something different, while I still yearn for the little boy who asked me to read Brown Bear for the 20th time in a row. I am beside myself with joy at the possibilities for him while at the same time cognizant that I need to cherish each moment as it happens for time passes so quickly when we get busy with life. He resembles me and when I see those features become more and more distinguished my breath catches. I know lots of moms that are going through the same thing so on one hand its good to know I am not alone, on the other, I feel bad for us all being in the same boat. It’s weird to think of my life as 1/3 over (please G-d I should live and be well until 120 years old) and I am proud of what I have achieved so far, but there is still more work to be done. I take a deep breath, straighten my back and smile at the world. Every day is a new beginning.