Leaving the Porch Light On (for Your Tween)

Hubby and I have an unspoken contest going on. There’s no monetary gain involved or prize to be won, just bragging rights. Every so often one of us will turn to the other with an “I did it!” smile on our face, while the other will respond with wide eyes. We trade our stories with a great sense of accomplishment and pride. So, what is this “skill” that we like to boast about to each other? You’ll probably never guess …

It’s getting to hold E’s hand.

Yup. Our high need son who always clung to us, sat on our laps whenever possible and never left our side for years is (finally) growing up. And with his growing confidence and independence comes a desire to do things on his own. Gasp! Without us.

Let’s pause for a moment to observe the passing of childhood and the commencement of the tweenage years. :O

The reality is, E is now less than a year away from the double digits. He is sounding more and more like a big kid, especially when he rolls his eyes at my jokes and says, “Mo-om” in the most unimpressed way possible. He never wants me to come help out at school or even to chaperone field trips (sorry Mrs. V!). And worst of all, he doesn’t like to hold our hand. When I try to, his hand just slips out of my grip like one of those water wiggler toys you can never hold onto (kids of the ’90s know what I’m talking about!). Which is why it’s such a HUGE deal whenever hubby or I get to hold his hand.

I was sharing this with his former kindergarten teacher the other day at parent-teacher conferences (she’s currently C’s teacher). She affirmed his growth over the past few years and encouraged us with this line, “Just keep the porch light on for him.” In other words, even though he may not need us as much, it’s our job to let him know we will always be here for him.

Image courtesy of dreyboblue/flickr.com

Image courtesy of dreyboblue/flickr.com

Even now as I type this post, I can feel my eyes welling up at the thought of E not needing us. How can someone who was once so dependent on us for his every need not need us?! :O

Well, his independence definitely didn’t happen overnight. And thankfully, I have a feeling it’ll be some time before he packs up and moves out of the house. Right now, he wavers between the little boy we once knew and the teenager he is becoming. He may not want to hold my hand, but every now and then he’ll let his knee touch mine under the dining room table. He still pauses and waits for me to kiss the top of his head when I drop him off at school. And if I’m lucky, he lets me hold his hand for a few seconds while we cross the street.

He may not be my baby anymore, but I’ll always keep the porch light on for him. Even if I can’t hold his hand, I will always hold his heart.

My firstborn. :)

My firstborn. 🙂

Take a listen to this sweet song by Rascal Flatts, “My Wish”. It captures my wish for both my munchkins as they grow up.

Who do you leave the porch light on for? Who has left it on for you?


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