Connecting With My Boy

My oldest son officially became a teenager last week and thanks to some down time in airports and on planes the past several days, I've been reflecting on that a lot.

As my boys have grown these past few years I've been hard on myself as a mom and essentially beating myself up for not doing the things I used to do with them when they were much younger.  I think that Greyson actually turning 13 woke me up a's me and my perspectives, not my actions that are making me feel that way.  We're simply in new seasons of life and I need to be able to change, adapt and grow with them.  Of course we're not doing the things we used to, um, they're not 5 years old anymore!  They have different interests and both need and want different things than they once did.  I realized - they're growing and I need to grow with them.

I've also reflected a lot about how very fortunate I am to have Greyson as my son.  For many reasons of course.  But one thing that kept hitting me is how utterly responsible he is.  I don't worry if he'll be up on time, ready for a practice on time, if he has his things for practice or school, if he's ready for a game, if his homework is done, etc.  He certainly presents me with some other worries, but not those things.  He's got those things, he owns them.  If he has a question about a practice time or location he asks, but it's on his radar and he doesn't forget.  When he gets in the car for practice or a game, I know I don't need to ask if he has water...he does, or he chooses not to knowing the team provides it.  When we get in the car to go to school I don't ask if he has everything...he does.  I don't have to remind him to settle in for the night, he's often already half asleep when I go in to remind his brother.  I'm blessed and I know it, because with a house full of kids and schedules it's nice to know I can take a step back and see that this one has it.

It took this week though to really see that and to give myself permission to take a step back and really trust that he has it.  He knows I'm always here when he needs something, we both do.  But I need to show him I see him as the responsible young man that he is.

I also need to jump at any chance I have to enter into both his world and his brother's.  That was easily learned at the end of the summer, but didn't really sink in until this past week.  Greyson loves to hunt and fish and that's not something that I cannot easily delve into deeply with him.  It's something he shares more with his dad and grandparents due to access to land, lakes, and boats.

During the course of this past summer he would ride his bike to a nearby river and fish for a while here and there.  But this day, at the end of the summer, he asked me to take him to a different fishing spot.  It was a beautiful afternoon and we didn't have any plans so we packed up his gear and a chair and book for me.

Let's just say I didn't need the book.  We talked.  Nearly the entire time.  As we moved from spot to spot along the river he'd carry my chair for me - a gesture that pretty much melted me.  He was candid, both about fishing and about things in life.  It was the first time in a while we really connected like that.  It was the first time I truly saw that in order to do that, I needed to go to them instead of trying to bring them to me.

And I loved it, I really really loved it....I think he just may have loved it too.