There Goes My Baby

Every day of the past 18 years with my teen has been a gift.  Most days that is a good thing.  Some days it is a gag gift or the gift I really wish I could return.  But mostly a fabulous present and a fabulous presence in my life.

I have told him that he will always be my baby, no matter how old he is.  He hates that.  I have also told him over and over how much I love him.  I may have made a lot of parenting mistakes over the years, but I think I got this one piece down… assurances of my unconditional love.

Growing up happens so fast!  When did he put away his tricycle and start driving?  Where did his strong opinions about everything come from?  Who is that young man with a prom date on his arm?  He used to be a shy child who would not do anything new unless he had a friend along with him.  Now he has stepped out of his comfort zone and tried new things and put himself out there.  I am proud of him for wanting to spread his wings next year by attending a college far from home.  Much as I will miss him, it will be good for both of us:)

He is a great kid, in my totally biased maternal opinion, who is becoming a charming young man.  Smart, affectionate, funny.  He is very social and spends a lot of time hanging out with his friends.  He is the kind of student that teachers tell us they are happy to have in class.  He has a beautiful smile and a warm personality (when not in the midst of a teenage moment).  And he likes to watch cooking competitions on TV with me:)

Teen years are supposed to be a challenge.  Yes, there are moments.  I have learned not to try to talk to my son in the mornings when he is over-tired and rushing to get out the door.  I ignore the look that says “Mom, I am so much smarter than you.”  I have gotten over the fact that in his eyes I am utterly embarrassing and I only hope that someday he will realize how hard I tried NOT to embarrass him.  But I have to say that we have so far sailed through with no major problems.  Knock on wood.

Every so often I look at my son and see myself.  Either in his smaller version of my nose.  (Lucky him.)  Or when he laughs at something silly.  But mostly, he is a Daddy’s boy, watching and talking sports, procrastinating, cluttering.

Easily, being a mom has been what I consider my greatest accomplishment.  I look at my son and I feel a sense of wonderment.  I know that he is his own person.  And he got to where is is despite me as much as he did because of me.  I wish him a lifetime of happiness and love and laughter and hope that I have the privilege to always be part of it.

Now I feel really old!  But not because of my son’s birthday.  Which is a bit of a surprise because when my eldest son reached this milestone it made me feel ancient!  But because when I came up with this post title, I was singing the old Queen song in my head.  Little did I know that it is now the title of an Usher song!  I am really dating myself.  Sigh.



Filed under family

45 responses to “There Goes My Baby

  1. Time goes by so quickly! I love that you accept and celebrate your son for the boy-now-man he is (even if he does have those procrastinating, cluttering ways)

  2. Where would we be without them? It’s what life is all about! Congrats on being such a great mum!

  3. Ewa

    Kids make us grow in so many ways but I just wish they gave us more time to absorb all the lessons.
    Happy son’s b-day to both of you.

    • Karen

      I love your comment because it makes me think about just how much I HAVE grown thanks to my boys:) Not surprisingly, the focus is usually on them!

  4. What a cool post Karen! Time does fly!!! My youngest stepdaughter is 31, all 3 stepdaughters are married & 7 grandchildren & the oldest being 11… Time flies!

  5. Karen, congrats on raising three boys to Men! Quite an accomplishment! Bravo to you!

  6. Beautiful post… Kudos to you for raising an amazing young man!!! I’ve definitely noticed how time flies once you have kids… my baby girl just turned 1 and my son will turn 5 in December… I keep thinking… where did the last 5 years go???

  7. I love this post. It brought tears to my eyes as I was thinking about how time does fly…my girls are getting so big. This post was so beautiful!

    I tagged you over at my blog.

  8. Deb

    Dating yourself? With QUEEN? Pshaw.

    When I saw the title, I began humming the Everly Bors song, “Bye, Bye Love” You know, “Bye, bye love. Good=bye happiness. Hello, lonliness. I feel like I could cry-eye. Bye, bye, my love, goodbye-eye. There goes my baby with someone new. She sure looks happy; I sure feel blue…”

    Uh-hmm. Queen. I wish.



  9. Karen, this is easily one of my favorite posts you’ve written. What a cute picture – hard to believe that little boy with the big smile is now 18! You wrote about the desire not to embarrass him, which as a teenager, is pretty much impossible. Can’t wait until he’s a little older and “gets” all that his mom has done to motivate others to have a healthier life. He will be as proud of you as you obviously are of him! 🙂

  10. Awww, time flys and I can’t imagine as mine sits here playing puzzles.

    That was just the most wonderful thing to read this morning TY Karen!

  11. Aww- he’ll understand one day when he has kids.

    My mom is the same way. She has said she’s made mistakes but no matter what I know she loves me and would do anything for me or my bro and sis if she could 🙂

  12. What a lovely post. A tribute to your son and also to yourself, his mother. You can and should be proud. Happy birthday–we know YOU did all the work 18 years ago. (My “baby” turns 29 this week!)

    • Karen

      I once read about someone who gave his mother flowers to thank her on HIS birthday. How sweet is that?! Because we sure should get some recognition for what we went through to pop those babies out. Not to mention the nine months leading up to it.

  13. What a lovely tribute to your son, Karen! Raised well, obviously, and ready to go conquer the world! I hope I can say half the wonderful things about my son that you’ve said, when my son’s 18 in three years!

  14. What a wonderful love-letter to your son. It sounds like you two have a very special bond with each other (and I’m sure he won’t appreciate hearing this over and over again but that picture is downright adorable!)

    • Karen

      Some day I may ask my boys if they’d mind if I posted current photos on my blog. I am pretty sure they’ll say “no” but maybe they’ll surprise me.

  15. Happy Birthday! I enjoyed all you shared about your special guy!

  16. Awe yay! Boys are so cute… I help my best friends 3 week old baby boy… oh my word. he’s so handsome. It seemed as though all was right in my life, holding that beautiful boy!

  17. What a fun post! I bet he looks just like you!

    • Karen

      In middle school his teacher met me and said she’d have known I was his mother because we resembled each other. I had never heard that before. The truth is, I definitely see it around the nose, as I said, but other than that, he doesn’t look much like either of us. Neither of my boys do. But the older one has my eyes. Genetics – go figure.

  18. I love this post and hope that your son reads it. I know exactly what you mean. It is quite a privilege to raise our kids and get to watch them grow into interesting human beings. Sounds like this kid is remarkable. Remember he has half of your genes. And also, that one of the true pleasures of life is having all those adult conversations with them now that they are older about life, jobs, education, politics, you name it. It is a wonderful part of being a parent to adult children.

    • Karen

      I love when either of my sons will actually “talk” with us. I remember that was the best thing about teaching them to drive – that time in the car with them captive and talking.

  19. Raising kids is the biggest, most important, and oftentimes most unthanked job in the world. You are a true gem, Karen – happy birthday to your youngest!

  20. My sweet boy is coming home tomorrow and he is 23 now. They will always be our sweet boys …bearded and tall and deep voiced as they may be!

  21. Time does go by so quickly!! He is such a cutie! I love that picture!

  22. I hear you
    I heed you
    IM OFF TO UNPLUG and play Barbie.

  23. Aww! Happy Birthday! My boy is almost 6 1/2 and see how fast time goes! 🙂 Bitter sweet!

  24. So Happy Birthday!My first son was coachable – a piece of cake to raise. My second – well, God wrote a book about rebellious young men who return to Him! I have about 8 more years before the baby leaves the nest. I don’t mind so much the quest for independence – I just look forward to being woven in to the tapestry of their life. What a perfect mom post for such a big day! Happy Birth . . . Day to you, too. Why don’t they realize that on their birthday, we gave birth to a toally new life, also?

    You might like my birthday prayer for when my second son turned 18:

  25. I love that Usher song and I bet I’m even older than you!
    It is both hard and fun to watch them grow up and leave us.
    Came over from SITS to say hi.

  26. Beautiful post, Karen. Sounds like a wonderful guy, and I should know because I have a couple myself. It is truly bittersweet when they leave for college, esp. when they’re far from home and can’t pop home fairly often. Just keep sharing about it all here!

  27. Ah. I can remeber the days when my mom embarassed me… though, in my defense, she totally went out of her way to do so sometime. Disco dancing in the supermarket = not cool! But once I went to college I realized what I had at home and started apreciating her more as the years go on. I’m sure your son will do the same. 🙂

  28. AH, Queen, stick with that. Usher can only hope to do so well someday. Kids grow, mine are coming close to leaving too. All you can do is keep on giving them Mother Love even when they leave. Keep on being a mom and he’ll keep on Doing All Right. Hang On In There even when he seems to not want mom to be mom, inside he does. Mother’s have more Staying Power than kids will ever know, that is until they are parents themselves. Eventually they too will be where you are, watching them move on while cranking up We Are the Champions.

    I think I worked enough Queen hits into that comment, remember to keeping saying to yourself; My Baby Loves Me

  29. sunnydaze

    What a lovely salute to your son. 🙂 Happy birthday to him and Happy Thanksgiving! Cute pic!

  30. I’m with Deb in the Everly Bros age group and I have no children, no grandchildren. It’s through writers, like you, Karen, that I see clearly what I have missed. Your brief, yet genuine and oddly complete, description of your relationship with your son touches me deeply. Thank you.

  31. Aww..he’ll appreciate you once he moves out. It wasn’t until I moved out that I realized how magical my parents’ house is.

    I’d put a dish in the sink and it appeared magically in the cupboard when I needed it again.

    I’d put clothes in the laundry room and somehow it magically appeared in my dresser drawer smelling springtime fresh.

    In the morning I’d see food in the fridge and by the time I came how it magically became a meal.

    When I moved out I quickly realized how much work my mom put into running the house. This is why I love going home. I’m surrounded by the magic again.

    Moms rocks!

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