About six and a bit years ago, my husband and I ventured out of the hospital and embarked on the trip home. I remember that car trip like it was yesterday, because I have never seen my husband drive any slower than he did that day. We were both full of caution, nerves, excitement, joy and hope for this little man's future.
Recently this precious little bundle who is now a first grader and racing into his childhood with energy and charisma, has entered a new phase in life. It all started with some changes at school and he started to become slightly more emotional than I had ever seen him before.
Then, one day after school, I sat with him on his bead and lay next to him on his pillow. His big brown eyes welling up with tears as he explained his heartache over his day. I wiped his tears and longed for the days where I could make it all better with a google search or some children's panadol.
Then it dawned on me. We now enter a new faze of the journey. One where I sometimes hold his hands through the frustrations of navigating friendships, disappointments of life, discovering what makes him really tick and the big questions in life.
I sometimes long for the days where burping him, changing a nappy, handing him a rusk or giving him a rattle would soothe all his woes.
I guess I was (somewhat) prepared for bigger issues to happen as we raced towards the pre-teen stage of life. However, at his tender age of almost 7, I have been caught off guard.
Most mothers, I suppose, have moments of 'how on earth do i tackle this one'. Days where you have to pause and think as you (attempt to) form the words that dish out todays life lesson. Which as life would have it, is usually on the way home from soccer practice or whilst your elbow deep in potato peelings for that night's mash.
I started to lengthen our bedtime routine by making sure that after bathtime, teeth are brushed and story is read, I simply sit with him for a few minutes and just chat. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we share deep thoughts.
I always want my boys to know that no matter how busy Mummy is, they are a priority. That no matter what happened at school, they can talk to me.
One book that I have loved reading to him after a 'hard day' is Max Lucado's : Just in case you ever wonder. I will leave you here with his eloquent words:
"But as you grow and change, some things will stay the same. I'll always love you. I'll always hug you. I'll always be on your side. And I want you to know that....just in case you ever wonder."