I began this blog when my firstborn Aidan was three months old.

As a new mother, I craved a platform to share his gorgeous face with my family members and I had some pretty strong opinions on what was wrong with this world that I had just brought him into. That was thirteen years ago. (I had no idea that this blog and its tributaries would turn into our family business)

This blog post is in the spirit of those early days. No SEO keywords, no stylized photographs…this is just me, a mom with a whole ‘lotta feelings.

Aidan has turned thirteen. And now, I weep.

With arms and legs and heart whirling everywhere, I am being sucked through a black hole that swallows time in an instant. How in the world is my baby thirteen years old? And how am I, a mere mortal supposed to navigate these teenage years? I’d like to share that for the record, I love it and I hate it.

His childlike lisp is gone and instead, he converses with an insurance agent over policies for his drone.

His longing to be in the garden with me has faded. He comes alongside now and then, offers his strength and energy and has pride in what we’ve created but he has his own creative soul.

His love for piano has been replaced with typical teenage grumbling about practice time.

His fondness for silly movies has been taken over by Star Trek night with his Dad.

His being underfoot in the kitchen is long gone and now I call him down to spend time with me. He does willingly and enjoys it… but the underfoot days and his need for a standing stool to reach the counter are a memory.

And here’s me. Holding a bag of memories wondering what the hell just happened.

I know, I know… it’s normal. New friends, hobbies that aren’t mine, activities to which I’m not invited…but here’s me, holding a bag of memories wondering what the hell just happened.

And wondering. And wondering.

My goodness, he’s as amazing as he was at three months and as incredible as he was at three… but thirteen, like all the other ages, is uncharted waters for me and so I cling to Jesus praying he will navigate for both of us.

I can’t say I’ve handled the transition with the best of grace. In fact, everything changed so quickly, I’ve been a bit bitter. Seeing how my bitterness affected Aidan has gotten me back on course rather quickly. What a tight rope. Expecting obedience and respect and asking for wisdom in how to handle when he fails. Going to him and asking for forgiveness when I fail. And fail and fail.

Back in the early days of this blog, I would write with the eagerness of a new mother, insisting that teenage rebellion was NOT a given and I still hold true to that.

These days I can see how much of a role I would play were that to happen. There aren’t enough hours in the day to pray for my children. If anything, this new chapter is showing me HOW MUCH they need me and how much they need me to diligently and vigilantly fight and pray on their behalf.

My God, he’s so beautiful. My heart still jumps when he walks into a room. Maybe even more so these days.   He’s so handsome. When he stays up with Joel and me and shares his thoughts and ideas, I hang on his every word. They are so precious to me.

His birthday was no less precious. He requested his favourite foods AND requested that he and I make his birthday blueberry pie together. I played it cool of course, but I was so very happy to have those moments in the kitchen with him again. I bought him a black apron in honour of it and low and behold, I’ve found him by my side at the countertop a little more often than usual. This Momma’s heart sings.

We giggled and I let him be ridiculous and sloppy. It was wonderful.

I let him eat the pie before dinner and treated him to some gear and books for his monarch butterfly hobby. That night he requested that I sing all of his childhood bedtime songs and he snuggled up to me and let me slobber and cry all over him. I could tell he was sobered by the moment. We both felt the pains of transition and we rode them out together.

Last week around 8:30 at night he came to me and asked if he could take me on a date. What a riot. I love his spontaneous heart.

We drove into town and went go-carting and played ski-ball (which, next to Ms Pac Man, he knows is my favourite). So this is how it is… my new normal… black, manly aprons, measuring and creating together in the kitchen, tug of wars over piano lessons, evening chats with Mom and Dad, kayak trips with his friends, date nights with his mom after his siblings go to bed…

I can do this. I have to.

Aidan is an old, knowing soul, like his Momma. When he was five he found me sobbing over a Trace Adkins song…

You’re gonna miss this.

You’re gonna want this back…

These are the good times,

So take a good like around,

You may not know it now,

But you’re gonna miss this…

He looked right at me and said with all the heart his five years could muster, “I promise Mom, I’ll go slow.”

Well, he lied. Bless his heart. It’s gone. Thirteen years like a vacuum and I’m left holding a bag of memories wondering what the hell happened.

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