He grew up today….
He pulled on his boots and walked right through my front door.
He grew up today…
He rarely says “mama” anymore—it’s mostly just “mom”. Unless he’s sick, sad, or really wants something.
He grew up today…
Maybe not in terms of years, or of adulthood. But today when he stepped through that front door all on his own, he stepped one step closer to the man that he’ll one day become. He grew today, and I’m not sure how I feel about it…
When you become a mother, you cling to a little soul that is yours…that is tangible. You cling to it and your mindset is that if you’ve raised it right, it will love you forever. But the one thing we’re never told, is this—you raise them to leave you. You raise them to become independent, and to have purpose. They will leave one day. It is an inevitable act that must happen in any young boy’s life.
Most people can look at today’s milestone as frivolous. What in the world does it have to do with leaving? But, it has a lot to do with leaving.
This week, for the very first time in his entire life, he tended to every single animal on this homestead, all by himself. The first day, he flourished. The second day, I barely saw him after he awoke for 5 minutes, before he ran straight out the door to tend to his chores. He welcomes independence. He is independent. He demands independence. He demands it. And there must be some statistic that says independent children leave home quicker…mustn’t there be?
As I sit here and watch him, in his brand new fierce wildness, I think of the times when he was two or three and wanted to learn so badly, but simply didn’t have the physical power in which to do it. I think of the times he begged me, just a few months ago, to let him do it all on his own, but I didn’t think he was ready. No…I didn’t think I was ready.
And so, I came to a crossroad. One way took us down the path of simply letting him help for the next ten years and leave it at that. But I knew he wouldn’t have any of that. The next path took us down the path of simply handing over the reigns to him and saying, “here, it’s time for you to do it all on your own now.”
His eyes lit up and his smile could have stretched across oceans, as I handed over the leather straps of animal husbandry. The sacredness of connection that he has with every single animal on our homestead is inspiring, and encouraging. And I knew, I just knew, he was ready, whether I was or not.
I chose the right path. And while I sit here, watching him walk down the path I’ve placed him on—and a path he’s willingly chosen—I can’t help but see him inch further and further away from me, into the sunset.
One day he’ll leave. One day he’ll find a wife and have a family of his own—maybe even a few chickens. But today is not that day. Today he steps into independence…responsibility…achievement. Today, he’s still my little boy, even though he’s 7-years-old. Today, I’ll embrace the now, and close my eyes on the future. Because time will run away with my little boy, and for now, I just want to cherish his wild freedom.
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