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Childhood’s short season

I am acutely aware that the children around me are growing up, and honestly, the awareness is tinged with joy and a little sadness. I find myself in awe of the children, and in some cases young adults, that I have known for years. These are the children that I read stories to, walked home from school with, I gave them bottles and changed their diapers. These people used to look up to me and now they peer down at me, even in my highest heels! 

 

We have such a short time with our children and watching them mature is thrilling, beautiful, and occasionally terrifying as they gain their independence. We hold our breath as they learn how to walk, ride a bike, and eventually learn how to drive. We rush to offer a hand to keep them steady, we run beside them as they gain confidence with each pedal, and we slam on the imaginary brake as they navigate on the road. Watching The Boy (my son) grow has been so inspiring and I find myself excited to see what comes next. 

 

The Boy will be turning 14 in just a few weeks and we are moving into a new chapter of his life. He will be a freshman in high school, and he could possibly be getting his first job. In preparing The Boy for high school, I realize I am teaching him how to get along without me. He will soon be making decisions for his future, such as what he will do after high school, and managing his own money. 

 

Life is full of surprises and I cannot help but think of the mistakes I have made in my life. I want to do everything I can to help The Boy avoid those same pitfalls. I have been giving my son more responsibility and taking a step back in his decision-making. As a parent, it can be challenging to let go of the control or influence you have in your children’s lives. I am learning to accept that my son may do things differently than I would like, such as folding the towels or preparing a meal, but at the end of the day he is able to work independently. It is more important that the task is done and the method does not matter at the end of the day.  

 

Instead of automatically taking care of everything in his life, I let him know that he is responsible for conveying his needs. Rather than telling him to do something, I give him options and let him choose. I also emphasize that every choice he makes comes with a consequence. That way, he will learn to take responsibility for his decisions. Watching my son become more confident in his decision-making is extremely rewarding and a little bittersweet! 

 

It is amazing to watch your children becoming who they are. It also makes you aware of time and the passage of time and what a short season childhood is. Each milestone is such a thrill but also a reminder that there are fewer firsts for my child tomorrow than there were today.  

 

 

Tashia James
Tashia James is a single mother of a teenage son. Through her blog, she hopes parents find the fun in parenting even through the most unpleasant moments of raising children. Connect with her on social media or email her at [email protected]

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