There comes a point when every mother witnesses the transition of her once baby boy growing into his own and transitioning into manhood. There are some transitions in between the seasons of infancy and the big "M" word that mothers, along with their sons, try their best to adjust to and allow their sons to evolve into becoming their own person. My son and I almost look eye to eye in height, and he is for sure to remind me of his growth in navigating through puberty. His shoulders are stretching wider, and he's growing taller. His voice, still with a hint of squeakiness, is growing deeper. When I hear him over the phone I pause and ask myself, "Is this my baby boy?"
We've came a long way from the bouncy, active toddler years, survived the roller coaster childhood years, saw major improvements through the adolescent years, and now we are moving on to the teenage years.
Yeah, no more Garanimals gear and baseball caps! The heart sunken moments of catching him playing in the mud have transitioned into him throwing his own clothes in the washer. The child who others saw and would always tell me, "Mama, he sure is all boy!" has now settled into a calm leader who loves to help others.
It's been years since I've laid out his clothes for the next morning. I can introduce him to "prospective" friendships, but he chooses to cultivate his own friendships now with like-minded buddies. I cook breakfast and lay out snacks to later see him select his own.
Our conversations about superheroes have now grown to major commentary on world events. He often shares passionately about events that affect him as a young man of color navigating in a society that now sees him not as the cute little boy wearing a baseball cap but as a possible threat. Yes, he talks about his friends, but he is sure to ask my advice on how to bashfully handle his "crushes" at school. I used to feel that my son, who was so stubborn at times, was totally aloof to the daily struggles I faced in balancing it all in raising him and his younger sisters. I now have him tap me on the shoulder to share with me that he has already taken out the trash before I could ask, and he later asks if he can help with the dishes.
We take it day by day as mother and son as he graduates from one chapter to another in growing into manhood.
I don't place him on a pedestal not allowing him to have bad days or make mistakes. I'm aware that the pressure of being perfect is unrealistic when growing as a teen, but I pray that he will apply the lessons we've taught him at home. His father does his best to guide him to be a man. I don't take that away from him in being overbearing, and I do appreciate his father's effort. My son will tell anyone before I will that he is a proud mama's boy, though. However, mama's boys and those who love them know not to interfere with the growing independence of learning how to be a man.
I will always see the bright eyed little boy running to hug me and later hold my hand, but I am proud to say as well that I am happy to see my son grow into a man.
Minimarie Andrews is a writer, blogger, speaker, and host. She is a proud mother of four, and she has a passion for teaching young people as a fine arts educator. She's also a former gospel radio host and now has her own podcast. She shares in her blog, "Purpose Filled Mommy with Minimarie", along with other outlets, wellness, embracing joy, having a grateful heart, cultivating centered families, establishing healthy relationships, and living a life of purpose. Find out more at https://purposefilledmommywithminimarie.com/