I looked into my son’s eyes today. They were right straight across from me as we were walking. It’s been a process, him growing up and all. I’ve “Seen” it coming. But then it still hits me every single time I am walking with him in a store or at my other son’s soccer practice or while standing near him in the kitchen. When did I quit looking down to see into those beautiful blue eyes? Not too long ago.
His shoes were too big for me a couple years ago. He exceeded my body weight a few months ago. (Imagine us all in the bathroom weighing ourselves because he wanted to know who was heavier). Every mom’s dream, to weigh in with all her kids.
His clothes are bigger than mine. His hair is thicker. He looks more like his dad every single day. That’s a good thing. His dad is so handsome. But this is a different iteration of his dad. This is the iteration of him. With pieces of his dad and maybe something of mine, like the fact that he has two arms and two legs.
Earlier this week, he talked to a store clerk about the electronics he had been researching. Shockingly, people know I am the mom and not his friend. (Damn aging). So they tend to still cater to me as the authority, but he knows more than I do about all of it. So I usually nod to my 13 year old son, now directly at my height, when they defer to me. And he takes off once we all establish who is in charge and who needs information. I usually take a physical step back to indicate he needs to be the one with the respect.
I just stared at him. He is gorgeous. I took a picture and sent it to my cousin, captioned “How gorgeous is my son?” For the first time in history, the camera chopped off his head. So I sent a picture of my headless son to my cousin, exclaiming his good looks. Oh boy. Pun and done. There’s my boy, the child who changed my life precipitously, suddenly, wholly.
We made it to today! I could go on and on about all the things I have seen him do, the struggles, the connection. I could talk about his ADD or Asperger’s. I could talk about the sibling rivalry, the tears, the years of research, the way his life has shaped mine so that I will never fear challenge. Because honestly nothing changes your inhibitions or embarrassment or motivation more than having to “find a way” for your child. But then if I went on and on about all that, I would discount the man he is, he is becoming.
I might minimize that he is the most heartfelt person. I might discount that I can’t wait to see what he has to say about someone we meet or a greater struggle in society or the way I explained something. Because it’s the most undiluted, sometimes misguided, often inappropriate and always from a place inside him where truth comes from. And I think what a gift he has been given. What a gift I have been given to hear the world through this unfiltered filter. And amidst the frustration and coaching and laughter, I have gotten to see this beautiful child grow up to be as tall as me, not as incredible a feat as one might think.
I now look him in the eyes, and I see our relationship change. I see him needing more autonomy and more choices. And I see he is ready and strong and brave. And unsure and prepared for the challenge.
And as he continues to grow, in only a few months, I will no longer look in his eyes directly again. This is a particular moment in time. I will start looking up to him. And I pray that I will both look up and “look up” to him as he continues to grow into the man he wants to become.
So for this moment, this few months we will look into each other’s eyes, I will picture him as a baby, I will replay episodes of his life as I remember them, I will live in gratitude for the few months in our lives we will see directly into each other’s souls as we speak. And I will take it as a strong reminder to respect and love him more each day. I love you, dear Mack. To you. To your future.
How gorgeous is my son!
Disclaimer: My son has asked me not to post pictures of him on social media. So try to imagine the most beautiful face. (love)
This Mom, Mack’s Mom