The joys of raising children. Most of the time I enjoy the ups and downs of motherhood and the milestones my children face each year of their life. When they are younger you anticipate all of their firsts with eagerness; first steps, first words, first tooth, I loved them all. I couldn't wait to catch their steps on video, their words on tape and save their tiny little baby teeth in an old medicine jar, as my parents did for me.
When it was time for their first day of school, I even followed my daughter's school bus in my car to watch her get off the bus and enter the school to make sure she was ok and although a lot of parents think that the first day of school is really the end of the big firsts that you wait to see when your children are young, I still anticipated and enjoyed lots of other firsts that came later. First report card, first mothers day art project (that usually consisted of macaroni and glue), but I adored it anyway. Or the first time they come home with their homemade Thanksgiving decoration which usually consisted of a tracing of their hand as the turkey feathers.
All of these firsts were things I loved and looked forward to with both of my children. Lately, however as my son approaches the age of 12 and I am noticing that there are some firsts I am not happy to see or go through and I am suddenly dreading the firsts that are to come. Every mother of a son knows that there will be a time when she will have to face the fact that her little beautiful sensitive clinging boy will become a man. What I didn't know is that I would have to face that fact so soon.
The other day as I was browsing myspace with my daughter online (I monitor what she does by having my own myspace page and adding all of her friends as mine so I know who she is talking to and when), I was adding some new Star Wars pictures to my page, my husband and I are very big fans. Anyway, my son, whose was named for a Star Wars character, came in just in time to see that one of the pictures I had in my files was of Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) dressed in the famous gold bikini outfit that Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) wore in Return of the Jedi back in the 80`s.
The next day I received an email form my son, who I gather was too embarrassed to ask me in person, requesting in big bold PLEASE letters if he could use that very same Padme gold bikini picture as his desktop on the family computer. Needless to say, I was dumbstruck. I am used to my son loving Star Wars, he picked up that passion from us, luckily considering his name, but this was different. This wasn't his usual, that is so cool all my friends will be jealous can I have that kind of request. This was a, I think she is really pretty and looks very girlish in that barely there bikini, can I put it on my computer so I can stare at her kind of request.
As dumbfounded as I was I allowed him to use the picture, not letting him know that that night his mommy did not sleep very well, having just been smacked in the face with the reality that her cute little boy who could do no wrong, is after all a male of the species. Something most mommies don't realize right away, or try not to realize ever. After all, he's my little boy, the one male in the house I can count on completely and I can love unconditionally. Once he grows up, and finds a wife of his own and starts his own family, all I will have left is my husband, and let's face it who really looks forward to that? No offense to my husband, well maybe just a little offense, but it's just not the same thing.
A mother and her son have a very special relationship, and although one day he will become a man and be more like my husband than I will like admitting, for now he is still my little boy and I will try to hold onto that for as long as I can. Or at least until he asks for the next revealing girly picture and I have to kill myself. Oh well, that's motherhood, we all know they don't stay young and cute forever. Apparently sooner than I thought, he will become a man, and a husband and a thorn in the side to some poor woman, but at least she can look forward to having her little baby boy for awhile if she is lucky enough to have a son.