Two weeks ago we participated in a coming of age rite for children in our community. I was pretty teary watching them, children I had seen for the past five or so years becoming a part.
Today our twelve, nearly thirteen year old flew to NYC to visit with my sister, his Auntie. Eight months ago when I dreamed about this trip for him it seemed like a great idea, last night….not so much. I was having a mama meltdown but maintained a some dignity (fingers crossed). This year is his preparation year where he slowly begins to become a part of the world. At 14 there will be a shift in him, we will expect more from him and he will deliver. He will continue to shift and morph in to the teenage years as will our expectations.
Our culture likes to malign teenagers, encouraging them to be apart. Is it because we are tired of parenting people who are having their own ideas and they can actually start doing something about it? I have my suspicions. They are still kids, they still have nutso ideas and we still need to pull in the reigns BUT they may need to fall on their faces a bit. Didn’t we all? In front of or behind our parent(s) back. Shouldn’t we be their cheerleaders and parents? I am at the beginning of this journey so forgive me for sounding naive but I can’t buy the negativity. I am looking forward to the teen years. I also love toddlers, so feel free to call me crazy.
He and I talk about all that is possible and what will keep. Some nights when we talk it feels like spaces where angels fear to tread, how to become a part rather than apart.