All too often I notice myself sitting still in the same place in life. It might be a place of resistance against things to come, like me thinking if I put off a phone call or put off opening the mail, the inevitable won’t really happen this time (can’t someone stop the bills from coming each month?). Or it could be just not realizing that changes have happened around me, and needing to notice them and embrace this new season of life.
Tonight as I went through my son’s book bag from school I realized that I’ve been in the same place with him, too, for far too long.
In my head he’s this little kid who needs me for every step he takes in his world. And in my head he needs me to tell him what to play with, to break down every transition enough so that he doesn’t get freaked out, and to give him deep pressure massage every night to help with sensory issues.
But the reality is that he’s growing up–almost 6 now–and is getting better, has his own desires, is making his own decisions and is moving forward without mom holding his hand at every step of the way.
In the book bag I noticed, in a tiny pocket that is meant for a cell phone, that he had folded up a picture until it was small enough to fit perfectly into the pocket. I smiled as I imagined him scouting out the pocket and preparing the picture for it’s new tiny home, folding each crease carefully. So methodically. In another small pocket I noticed a portion of a rock. It looked like it was broken, maybe even as if it was fossilized. It was deep in this pocket, zipped up and likely had been forgotten about. Later on, he would tell me that it was a crystal from school, and he wanted it to stay in that pocket forever.
It struck me so powerfully that this little person would have ideas like “this rock is cool and I want to take it home”. That one minute kids are the tiniest of humans, relying on us for every idea, every whim, and the next they are plucking one single rock off the ground and bringing it home as a keepsake, not even thinking of mentioning it to their mom. Simply relying on the fact that it’s *their* rock, and keeping the secret to themselves.
Now as I look back, and realize that no longer does he need me as often for transitions, for deep pressure or for ideas about what to play with…I am thrilled at what the future will bring. While it feels bittersweet to be needed less and less, I also know that means that huge new discoveries are around the corner, and independence is that much closer. I am excited to get to know this new, improved, and independent boy, and hope next time he has a secret crystal he will ask me to hold it for him.