Starter child


imageMy oldest son is at a weird age. Not quite a kid, not quite a teenager. He has the attitude of like 40 teenagers, but he’s still a couple of years from having that official title.

I’ve always jokingly referred to him as my “starter child” cause I go through everything with him first. I feel like this sucks for him sometimes because it really solidifies the fact that I don’t know what the hell I’m doing.

When he turned 10, he kept going on and on that he was a “preteen” and I was like um, that’s not a thing. But then he challenged me to google it and sure as shit…he’s a preteen. Children between the ages of 10-12 are considered preteens. I don’t remember this being a “thing” when I was growing up, but to be honest I have a hard time remembering to use the bathroom these days. One things for sure, I’m not ready for this stage of his life.

It’s a strange feeling, knowing that I created a human that is growing up. I know this may sound like a major duh, but I wasn’t thinking this far ahead. Before too long, he will be shaving. Driving. Having sex. Being an adult. It’s creepy.

It makes me think of his life thus far. The struggles he’s overcome with his autism diagnosis. The time he drew all over his brother and my house with a sharpie. His first steps, first words and his first day of school. It seems like just yesterday I was bringing him home from the hospital, sitting in the backseat and holding his head still cause I was afraid it was literally going to fall off. And now, he’s about to go into middle school and start a whole new chapter of his life.

His moods change quite frequently. He has a tendency to be a smart ass (no idea where he learned that from) and he’s incredibly bossy. But he’s also funny (pretty sure where he got this from) and smart. He loves to learn new things and he still plays with his action figures. I’m noticing that he’s starting to change in his appearance too, which is tough. He’s not a little boy anymore. He’s almost as tall as me and he’s filling out a little.

I feel like I’m going to blink and he’s going to be eighteen. It’s still quite a few years away, but the last eleven years have gone by so fast that I’m afraid the next seven will too. My only hope is that I don’t screw it up. If nothing else, it will prepare me for the other two.

This parenting gig is for the birds.


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