I tend to get kind of grumpy about my kids growing up.
I've always loved little kids,
and I feel a sense of loss when I think of sending them away from my protective bubble.
I hate the thought of seeing them go through emotional pain as they grow.
And being a mom of small children fills my life with joy, humor, and innocence.
But there has been something amazing about seeing our oldest grow in maturity.
He just turned seven, and he frequently amazes us with the choices he is making independent of our immediate influence. It is seriously gratifying and it has made it easier for me to come to grips with him leaving the "little kid" stage behind.
Like when he told me about how he had seen a disabled girl older than him at school, looking at the playground. He asked her if she needed help and then helped her up the playground. I teared up at the thought of my little first-grader helping her!
Or when he gave me some chocolates he had received for his birthday before Church. After Church, I explained how I had started to feel like I was going to pass out in Primary and I was thankful for the chocolates in my purse, because I ate them and they made me feel better. He thoughtfully responded, "I just thought I should give them to you...I think the Holy Ghost told me to."
Or on Sunday--our stake (group of congregations) had some ward (congregation) boundary changes. In our church, we are assigned a congregation based on where we live, so these changes affected the church members people would associate with on a regular basis. After the meeting where these changes were announced, we came home and were getting the boys ready for bed. Talmage said his prayers and said, "Please bless all the people who got put in a new ward that they won't be sad and they won't miss their friends from their old ward." I was shocked at his sincerity, sensitivity, and thoughtfulness.
The other day I asked him, "Why do we follow the Prophet?" "So we can be happy," he replied instantly. "Why does following the Prophet make us happy?" I continued. "Because he speaks for Heavenly Father, and He is our Father, so He wants us to be happy!" he stated adamantly.
So even though he's starting to prefer "big kid" activities, and he is losing much of that precious innocence of childhood, and even though my days of writing stories about him whenever I want are numbered, and even though he is still a typical boy (i.e. chasing girls at the bus stop while holding worms...),
I am learning to love this stage with all my heart as well.
Check out Lynette's post entitled "In Defense of Teens" on her blog, Simply For Real. It helps me not dread the teenage years so much, either!