Yesterday, my parental trust was tested. My now 4th grade son was invited to the beach with his friend's family who live in a beach house year-round. This was a first. To know that my son, a relative newcomer to ocean swimming, would be under the the watchful eye of another mother and not me! Six hours later he returned, brown as a bean and glowing with joy and exhaustion. He had done it on his own! We both were proud of ourselves.
There is a subtle transition that seems to take place at age nine. Not only can I see him changing - shoulders widening, the top of his head in line with my nose, the last little baby fat on his face fading away - I can feel him changing as well. Not as interested in toys or Legos, he is spending much more time reading, writing, talking with us and wanting to spend most of his time using all kinds of electronics. Suddenly he is asking for an IPOD Touch, a Kindle and a lap top. Whoa! He doesn't even listen to the radio so why does he need an IPOD? Simple. All his friends have one. We are entering a new phase of the "gimmes" that won't be as easy to satisfy with a new toy or book to read.
You see we have this idea that our kids should not have their own TVs and computers in the privacy of their own rooms. I know, we are so OLD SCHOOL! We do watch TV shows, play Xbox games and allow them to use the family computer but we do all these things in the presence of one another and I would like to keep it that way as long as we can.
There will be a great deal of impatience in our house - maybe for the next several years. I can almost hear the "But why can't I?" and the "It's not fair!" now. But I also know that patience is a virtue and that which we love is worth waiting for. It is reassuring that while he is growing up, so am I. I can rest in relative peace knowing that I will be able to handle the transitions ahead, especially since I do not have to do it without the power of prayer and divine intervention.
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Misty, as a one-time nine-year-old boy – and as someone whose mom once told him, "not one of my children has brought me more joy – or more pain".ReplyDelete
She was a mom who tried hard – you are a mom who tries hard – moms who try hard rock. The time ahead, I can see you studying yourself for the time ahead. Know this, that even on the days when your son does not thank you for it, believe me, he will one day praise you high and heavy for it, and it will bring special tears. And you will always be his mama. God bless and keep you and each and every one of yours this day.
Thank you for the kind encouragement Craig. I believe you and that is what gives me peace even through the ups and the downs. God Bless!ReplyDelete
Misty ~ this is truly one of the hardest things about parenting...however, just so you know, Joe doesn't have a TV in his room either. (To be quite honest, we don't have one in ours. It's hard enough to settle down to sleep without the TV blaring.) How good to work on virtues, too... God bless you, my friend.ReplyDelete
Oh, Misty. I know your pain! My ten year old daughter (almost 11) was in tears today at Target when I told her "no, I will not buy you mascara!" It is so hard to find the balance between giving them a bit more freedom and not too much. Especially when their friends are given way too much freedom by their parents. Stay strong!ReplyDelete
Thanks girls! I am staying strong with the support of people like you who remind me we are not CRAZY!ReplyDelete
Hi Misty! We, too, have been struggling with the "leaving the nest" issue. I just hope that by this time we have instilled good, Christian values that will follow him wherever he goes without us. I have one of those wall decals in my house that says "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things" and I find myself referring to that whenever I hear the "but so and so has ..." We don't have computers or TVs in the bedrooms either, so you are not alone =) I'm all for keeping my kids in "the bubble" for as long as I can! Love the post, Misty!!ReplyDelete