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The Flip of a Switch

I remember lots of things about my children as babies. How they smelled (oh, that delicious baby smell), their infectious laugh, their wobbly first steps. Lots of precious memories.

Of my oldest, I distinctly remember carrying him around in a pouch on my chest. It was the safest place I could keep him. Attached to me.

As a mom, we spend a lot of time protecting our ducklings, don’t we? We worry, we fuss, we keep a close eye on them. Because let’s face it, we’d give our lives to protect our children.

And for all of the eighteen years I’ve been home with my kids, this is the role I’ve played. Protector. Until yesterday.

We had an incident last night that left me unsettled. Nothing major (but I didn’t know this at the time), just something that made my tummy twist into knots and had me worried about the safety of my kids.

Sensing that something was amiss, Aidan came to my side. “I’ve got this mom”, he said. And he said it with such calm and confidence that I couldn’t help but feel comforted.

That same baby that I wore tucked between my bosom is now a good two inches taller than myself. His shoulders are broad and he looks like he could work on a farm. Strapping. He is now able to physically protect me.

It was in this moment that I finally saw my son for what he is, a man. 

My role as protector for this particular child is over in some very real ways. Of course I will always try to protect him from whatever I’m able, but the point is that he is now able to defend himself and also his family.

The roles have been reversed. And as right and as natural as I know this is, I just didn’t seeing it coming.

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Comments

  1. They do grow up and become adults but we still try to protect them as we can. Parents eventually become mentors, advisers and if we are lucky, confidantes and friends. I pray nothing serious happened last night and I’m glad your son handled it so well.

  2. Wow. That’s amazing. As the mother of two girls I don’t know that the roles will ever reverse until I’m elderly. The gift of boys is different in many ways. So glad it turned out to be a false alarm.

    • You are very right. It is different with girls. I hadn’t thought about that when I wrote this post. I guess I’ll go back to feeling insecure when the boys move out, lol.

      • I know girls are not the same as having boys, but you don’t have to go back to that feeling. I have three girls (two of which are 15, almost 16). They astound me with their calm and ability to care for themselves and each other. We did enroll them in Tae Kwon Do so that they would have a sense of self defense though. Your girls will learn to trust their instincts just like you.

  3. I love it when you write posts like these. As a mother of small children, they remind me that our children grow up and we need to cherish every minute.

    • Thank you Jackie! I never know if these types of posts will fly or not. Sharing from the heart makes me feel a little vulnerable sometimes. I’m glad you don’t mind my wishy washy posts. :)

  4. What an awesome feeling!

  5. That is so wonderful that he feels protective and that he can protect you!

  6. And sorry about the ugly incident. Hope it wasn’t too upsetting!

  7. How sweet of your son. Usually it’s my daughter that is more protective, she’s 18 and my son turned 22 today. It’s a nice feeling to know your kids are there to help you out :) As a parent, certain situations can send you awry. Today on the news I saw a car overturned near my daughter’s college. She commutes. I was never so happy to get a return text saying she was fine and it wasn’t her. And, not nagging me for worrying.

    • Oh Seana, that would’ve freaked me out too. I always feel like my heart is in my throat when Aidan drives. I hope that feeling goes away someday. When all four are driving, how am I going to handle it? Oy! I’m so glad that your daughter was safe. Scary!

  8. This post reminds me a bit of an incident that we had here this week. Our 8 year old, handled a big, hairy legged, nasty, yucky spider in the basement for me while our 6 year old and I pointed, squealed, and even cried. I was so proud of his big boy bravery and he was so nonchalant about the whole thing. I’m sure your deal was much worse, but I know exactly what you mean about flipping the switch. For me, our little guy isn’t a baby anymore, he is a – gasp – almost tween with bravery and confidence. What am I going to do now? :)

    • Oh how I hate spiders. They totally freak me out. Thank God you have one spider warrior in your house. Every home needs one of those.

  9. Joanne Beaulieu says:

    You must feel very proud of him for being so brave that he wanted to protect you!!

  10. Two scary moments for you yesterday it seems like! I can’t wait for my kids to be old enough to take charge but at the same time I am TERRIFIED for when I cannot protect them any longer. Hope everyone is OK and stays that way :)

    • You won’t feel that way when your kids get older Missy. It’s just a normal progression and it will feel natural. You sort of grow into it with them!

  11. What a sad and proud moment all wrapped up into one. Sad because he isn’t your baby anymore (although he will always be your baby) and proud. because you obviously did an awesome job raising him.

  12. This won’t be the first time he comes to your side. This will also open up all new feelings you will be dealing with as you realize he is a man. I remember the first time I realized my son had become a man. You have some many good memories of him as a child, the ones as an adult are just beginning!

    • That is such an uplifting comment! Yes, adult memories of my kids will be just as precious as the younger ones. I get so stuck in the now sometimes that I fail to see that. Thanks for the reminder!

  13. I have a 19 (20 in July) and a just turned 17 yr old sons. I LOVE having older kids so much! We have so much more in common now, we can talk for hours. I wish I had known this when they were little boys, I might have relaxed a little and let them grow up without so much worry. Something about the college,job,girlfriend,driving stage that involves so much letting Go. It is calmer, there are alot more prayers said for their safety each night. Tho….. the letting go, is therapeutic and we SO earned this!! :)
    I find myself daydreaming about being a Grandma now!! Maybe I should get a puppy instead? LOL

    • I agree. Older kids are easier and more enjoyable to communicate with. I’m still in the driving/girlfriend/college stage. So, I still worry. BUT the twenties are right around the corner and I imagine that those years will be wonderful. :)

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