He has gotten so fast on his scooter. As we head down the street to the playground he's a rocket man. I start to shout his name to slow down but he's having such a great time being a child. I swallow the urge. It doesn't seem fair to stop that. I fear if I needed to catch up to him to help dodge a car coming or prevent a fall I wouldn't be able to unless adrenaline sent me soaring which it most certainly would.
He turns 4 today and it hits me that this is what motherhood will be from now on...wanting to catch up and protect him but not having the control. Just a month ago he wanted me right next to him holding the scooter's handlebar so he wouldn't fall or just wanting me right alongside him...his partner in crime. And now this...independence.
I shouldn't be shocked. After all, we are cut from the same cloth and I craved independence from a very early age. Still do. Memories start flooding my mind of the torturous moments I put my parents through as a teenager, almost always disobeying simple instructions; ride your bike ONLY on this street, be home by 10pm, don't hang out with that crowd. And will my son do the same to me?
I picture his future and I pray that he'll want to confide in me about everything; talk about girls, tell me all his wild dreams, the things he wants to do with his life, what keeps him up at night and what excites him in the morning. I want to be all sorts of encouraging; telling him to take that trip, go to that school, pursue that passion. I never want him to feel like I'm holding him back and yet here I am with him at 4 and I want to do just that...keep him where he is, hold him and kiss him and protect him from the world.
Getting older hasn't had a huge impact on me...a birthday is just a birthday. However, my sweet boy getting a little older makes me want to cry and never let him go. After these four years of motherhood that maternal gene of worry has kicked in and rocked me hard.
However, I will hold those feelings deep down and have the strength to encourage him to get wonderfully lost in this awesome world. To smell the air, to dream so big it doesn't seem possible and that the world is in fact his oyster!