As a budding tween, Mr. B has mastered the transition from elementary to middle school with ease and especially likes the freedom students are granted. Gone are the days where he has to ask to go to the bathroom or be led from classroom to classroom by teachers. Replaced now with a new emphasis on individual responsibility and independence.
But his love of independence isn't confined to the walls of his new school. Mr. B is at a stage in his life that he's craving his independence with EVERYTHING. From the length he keeps his moppy blond hair to the food he wants to eat, to the TV he wants to watch and what he does with his time...it's all about HIS right to make HIS own decisions about HIS life.
Unfortunately for Mr. B, he has parents that don't always agree with what HE wants. (you all saw that coming, right?)
The typical good vs. evil (at least in his mind). Child vs. parent. Just vs. Unjust.
We seem to battle this to some extent each day, from whether he should get his haircut or if he can go to the football game alone with friends. And why won't we get him a cell phone (don't you trust me, Mom?)
I try to pick my battles, knowing that it's normal that he's beginning to spread his wings. On some days it seems like a losing battle. On others, I still see my sweet innocent little boy peaking through behind his tough, independent demeanor.
One that comes running to me when he's afraid so I can assure him everything is OK. One that wants to have me outside with him as he gets on the bus each morning (but far enough away that no-one on the bus sees me watching). One that always sleeps better when I tuck him in and pray with him each night.
I keep reminding myself that his feelings are normal. And deep down, I know he finds comfort in my presence (althought I know he'd never admit it publicly.)
Oh, motherhood. It's a grand thing you are.