In the last year, he has grown more than 3 inches and he's now taller than me. Kid and boy-sized clothes are out of the question. I swear that if I watch closely enough, I can see his gangly legs stretching before my eyes. I sometimes call him Baby Hulk because he is at times completely unaware of his size and strength. He clatters through our wood-floored house and it sounds like a herd of elephants are on the stairs. He swings his arms and legs around and my instinct is to duck and get out of the way. I know he doesn't intend any harm, but wow he is big and strong.
I was once a 13 year old and so some of what he is feeling is familiar to me. But I wasn't ever a 13 year old boy and though it seems like a silly cliche to say it: boys are different. In the aftermath of his concussion, an injury that happened when he was taking on a physical challenge, I've realized that as he grows taller he's also becoming stronger. This newfound strength and power is truly a wonder to him. Sometimes, he quite literally doesn't know what to make of his ever-changing body. At other times, he's only too eager to leap on a physical challenge. For a mama, this is both exciting and terrifying to see. I've a feeling I've not made my last trip to the ER.
If 13 is anything like the last few months of 12, it will feature strong opinions joined with strong emotions. But lately, just when I despair that he will ever see the big picture, he says or does something that reveals a startling self-awareness and ability to sympathize with the world that makes my heart swell with pride. And so I keep at the job of being JT's mama and I love him with a joy and a power that has only grown since the day this baby first came into my world. He's a well-loved young man, this child of mine. And no matter how tall and powerful he grows, he'll always be his mama's boy.
Though seriously, kid, why so tall?