Yesterday, my oldest son turned 9. Because the nerd apple fell perilously close to the nerd tree, he loves all things fantastic and mythological, including Harry Potter. We went a little crazy with the Pinterest projects and the result was a pretty impressive Hogwartsian extravaganza which included wands made from chopsticks and hot glue, hand-stenciled goody-bags, and a Golden Snitch piñata made with my own special papier-mâché recipe, which is basically flour, glue, and tears of exhaustion.
When people commented that we seemed to go to a lot of trouble for this party, my response was a wistful and cliche, “You only turn 9 once.” As my sweet boy is rapidly morphing into a pre-teen, I’m getting a little panicky about how fast it’s all going. I know it won’t belong before he’ll be too cool for a big, corny party. So while he’ll let me, we’re going nuts with the decorations and the party games, because that feels like childhood, and I want childhood to last a little longer.
After the guests had left and my husband and I high-fived, I sat down for the first time in hours, my feet aching and my heart full. I started looking through my social media and came across this blog post, and I had a little meltdown. Maybe it was just the desperate fatigue which comes from painting dozens of paper towel tubes to resemble floating candles, but I just couldn’t stop the tears. The author of the post wrote simply and meaningfully about reaching the milestone of her son’s 18th birthday, and I thought to myself, “Oh my God, we’re already halfway there.” I can glimpse the dizzying pace of change that will come with everything that the next nine years will bring, and it nearly takes my breath away.
I hope I can be one of those gracious moms who gives her child roots and wings and all that crap, but if I’m being honest with myself, I think I’m going to struggle with letting go. But this is halftime, I suppose. Time for me to take a breath and get a game plan figured out for next nine years. Anyone got a playbook I can borrow?