Watching your children grow up is a strange thing. Just six years ago I became a mother when I gave birth to this beautiful bundle of baby boy. I was terrified and elated. And six years later I still experience those conflicting emotions on a daily basis.
He’s no longer a beautiful bundle of baby boy. He’s up to my chest and long and lean. Though he is still breathtakingly beautiful.
When he was a tiny baby his inner workings were a mystery to me. I did my best to guess when he was hungry or tired. Looking back through the lens of experience I now realize that as often as he was hungry or tired he might have been frustrated or bored.
He’s always been a very curious boy. And a very thoughtful boy. Strangers commented on his pensive gaze, what was often labeled “seriousness,” almost as often as they commented on his striking beauty. One friendly soul remarked that once he started talking I’d be in for it. “He’s storing up all the questions he can’t yet ask.” I believe she was right.
When he started talking at a year old he did so with a perfection not often seen in such tiny children. By the time he was three, he sounded like a 10 year old. The only two words that he has ever mispronounced were “cholocolate” and “dubya-lu.” He still says “dubya-lu” and it melts my heart every time.
He spoke clearly and often. He still has a lot to say. But what is sometimes maddening is that, just as when he was a tiny baby, I still don’t always know what he’s thinking. He’s still a deep thinker. But he doesn’t always choose to share those thoughts with me.
It’s tough as a mother. I want to know all that goes on inside his little brain. I want to know his hopes and fears, his dreams and worries. It is distressing to me that he doesn’t pour his heart out to me. If something is bothering him, he wants me close. He wants my physical presence, but he doesn’t want to talk. Maybe this is a Mars/Venus thing. Maybe it’s an introvert thing. I don’t know. But I have to stop myself at times from bullying him into telling me what he’s thinking.
The hardest part is knowing that the older he gets, the less I will know him. For now I have ways of getting information from others. But I won’t always be able to ask his friend’s mom to get the story from her child. I will have to trust in our relationship enough to know that he will open up to me if and when he needs to. That he will know that I am always there and willing to listen.