|The (vegan) cake I created for Pockets|
He’s been earning college credits toward his degree at an age when I was agonizing over whether I should spiral perm my hair or not (I did, and it was a mistake), and he’s taking the lead in discussions around the dinner table, inspired by his Philosophy and Psychology classes.
I must point out he’s caught on to those subjects much more quickly than some. Finally, blessedly, he’s begun loading the dishwasher without my asking—and it only took 17 years!
Wasn’t it just yesterday he was the funny kid who wouldn’t eat anything but grilled cheese sandwiches? In the blink of an eye, he’s become the funny man who’s preparing his own gourmet meals and cruising over the mountains to spend weekends with friends in Seattle.
Pockets was a cautious child, frequently hanging back from new activities in spite of my coaxing. I feel like I spent the last 17 years pushing him into the world, urging him to explore, expand, and eventually explode the so-called “boundaries.” So why, now, do I just want to hold on with both hands and pull him back to me?
This... This is the dichotomy of parenthood. We mothers and fathers nurture and grow our fledgling children, preparing them to take flight, but when it’s time to push them out of the nest, it’s nearly impossible to watch those first furious wing beats without feeling as if a part of us is taking flight, as well.
I hope Pockets takes the best part of me with him, because he helped to create that soft, warm little corner of my heart that can’t decide whether to burst with pride or break with emotion today.
Of course, he also helped to create that hard, edgy mothers-only tone of voice I’ve worked so hard to perfect. He’ll have to leave that behind, because we have four more kids to graduate.