I was driving Big Man to school this morning, and we started laughing together over something totally inane, and in an instant, I had a glimpse of how it will be, our relationship when I can be more than just the parent and we can become friends. As I laughed, I also almost started to cry.
I know every parent talks about how quickly it goes. It truly flies. What’s that saying, “The days are long but the years are short”? Yeah. That. I revisit this day, moment by moment, every year, often more than once a year. I can tell you what was happening this exact moment fifteen years ago. It was a terrifying and surreal day. And yet, I treasure it, am blessed by it. I became a mother well before his birth, but I became a mom the first time I touched him.
I wasn’t terribly young when I had him. But I feel I grew up more after I had him. I learned so much more about myself, the strength I didn’t know I had, who I was, and who I needed to be. I had to fight for him, I had to fight for myself. Would I have learned all of that had he been born when he should? Probably, maybe. I don’t think I’ll never know the answer to that question. It doesn’t matter now. We go with the hand we’re dealt.
I’ve watched him grow up, and now here we are, just a few years away from sending him off into the world. We still have parental work to do. We cannot be his friends yet. But we’re getting there. And I saw some of that this morning. I can see who he is, who he is becoming. He’s funny, quirky, charming, compassionate, and smart. He’s also frustrating, messy, noisy, and stubborn.
That shared laugh this morning was a small moment, but I will remember it as the beginning, the glimpse into what will be. Today, I’ll look backwards to his birth and the baby he was, and forward to the man he’s becoming, and I’ll stand in awe of both.