I thought about all kinds of moments that we would enjoy together, most of them of the everyday sort of magic that mamas long for: learning the sound of his laughter, watching him crawl, hearing his first words, walking to the park with his hand in mine. I think of these hopes with a bit of longing these days.
On the cusp of 13, my baby is taller than me, has the start of a mustache, and expresses the world view of a 13 year old. That view can be easily summed up: I'm wrong (and perhaps stupid), he's right (and likely brilliant), events are either awesome or horrible (with little space in between, as far as I can tell). Communication on the most mundane of matters sometimes feel fraught in a way I could have never predicted for such an innocuous phrase as "good morning." The dramatic swings of adolescence can wear a mama out.
The good news is that there are moments of charm in this roller coaster ride. He's strong as an ox and will carry anything that you ask him to move. He's helpful around the house and at times displays some extraordinary kind- heartedness . He's capable of understanding sophisticated ideas and we sometimes have thoughtful conversations about sports, politics, and history that I actually enjoy. He's becoming self-aware and has realized that yoga on Friday afternoons really helps him to feel calm and relaxed (he used the word centered!).
The trick here is that you never know which JT you will draw in a given moment. Of course, I still love him with all my heart. But I sometimes feel as if I am suddenly on the edge of a cliff with no earthly idea how I got there. And so I step back, take one more deep breath, and face the precipice once more.