If you would have asked me 15 years ago: what I wanted to be when I grew up? I would have confidently told you wife and mama. But like most young women, I had no idea how much better and sweeter motherhood would be. This first boy of mine, the test kid, the one I make all the mothering mistakes on, is my boy…Jack.
This year I started a new tradition, when one of my boys turns 10 years old (I’m lucky to get to do this 3 more times!) we have an adventure. Just him and I and a quietly documented afternoon celebrating my boy, not quite a man.
Reaching level 10 is a big deal for a kid. Jack is quietly leaving little kid phase and becoming a big kid, it’s this fleeting sweet spot of childhood before the angsty teenager years. And me? This time of my mothering has been my favorite so far. The hugs and kisses are still freely given daily, and his too big feet and long arms are just about perfect for a first swim team this summer. He is kind and brave, whip smart, a lionhearted leader.
I’m sitting in a Starbucks with tears welling in my eyes, and I can’t help but notice that I became what I wanted most. As humble and hard as motherhood is, this part is pretty sweet. If I could give mothers advise, new or experienced, it would be this: keep your heart soft. Spend an afternoon and just be with your baby/toddler/kid/teenager/grownup baby. No plans, and no other family or friends, and bring snacks. And throw lots of rocks, and feel the sunshine on your face.
And so, here is my boy Jack at 10 years old. And my heart beating and walking around outside of my chest.