My son dumped out the contents of his backpack. Minutes before it had been the contents of his locker. He glanced at it, and with a crooked grin asked if he could burn his books from school this year.
That request was DENIED.
I am not that cool of a parent.
He walked off laughing and went outside to play ball. I sat down and stared at the beautiful mess he had just heaped into my dining room.
Tattered notebooks, stray exam reviews, short pencils with well-used erasers, beat up journals, and a hacky sack that had faired rather well cluttered the table. I began to feel nostalgic as I wondered where the time had gone.
It seems like yesterday he was small enough to fit in my lap, where I could play with his toes while he cooed at me innocently.
Now he is a wanna-be book burner.
Thirteen is a curious age. He is old enough to stay by himself, but yet he still calls if we’ve been gone “too long”. He will not acknowledge us in public, unless he needs permission or money so he can do what “everyone else” is doing. He doesn’t care about clothes unless he looks different than his peers. He eats, and eats, and eats… and then goes two days where food isn’t important at all.
My son is smart, funny, gentle, and kind. He is a good student, and a great friend to his peers. He is an old soul, a deep thinker, and notices everything.
He is changing.
Lego’s are a thing of the past. We are giving away children’s books and replacing them with teen and adult series. He gazes at girls a little longer than he used to, although he still is not quite confident to do anything else, even speak.
He is growing up.
High school starts next year. There will be dances to attend, and games to cheer for. Classes will be more difficult, and he will get more responsibility and more freedom at home. He will join clubs, and be involved in more activities. He soon will have friends that can drive.
He will always be that “Little Boo” on my lap.
But it’s fun watching him struggle out of the cocoon.
He is growing, but not yet grown.
He is changing, but yet is still the same.
He needs us, and even still wants us around.
Every night my husband and I have the privilege of praying for my son before he goes to bed. Every night we thank God for him, and ask that he will be made into the man God wants him to become.
We as parents also have the responsibility to model integrity, perspective, and our own faith.
We still have more impact over him than anyone else, even his peers. I know this because as a Student Pastor I tell people this all the time. I studied it in school, and I’ve seen it proven true.
So today is the last day of Middle School. It’s a big world out there. And I am so thankful that God gave him to us so we can walk with him through it.
Bring it, High school. I, my husband, and “Little Boo” are ready. Just don’t come too fast.
Let us enjoy summer first.