It's getting harder now.
The growing pains we are feeling now aren't from his rapidly growing body. The drama doesn't come from his outburst of frustration that only a teenager could manufacture. The angst isn't from his preteen self navigating complicated issues with peers at school.
The pain is from me now. The hurt. The angst. The drama. It's from the letting go. It's from the change that I am not prepared for. I blink and he grows an inch right now. I sleep and his voice deepens ever so slightly. I turn around and he has become a small man wearing man pants from the Men's Department while he just independently navigates the world now.
Today, I took him out for our annual Christmas card shoot. It's funny really. I have always loved this part. Capturing him on our Christmas cards that line my refrigerator is one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. But nothing feels right this year. No wreath or tiny tree looks good in his big hands. The Santa hat doesn't make sense these days. No cheeky grinned boy pointing at sugarplums on the chalkboard fits him now.
So, instead of a Christmas card this year, I took him out today to capture him in a portrait just like this...just as he is right here and now. Because I am going to blink and he is going to be 20 and in college. And honestly, I want to be able to remember this day here with him.
It seems so cliche to say to new moms and dads "Oh, it goes so fast...enjoy every minute." But it's all I can do not shake them and scream "IT'S GOING TO DISAPPEAR BEFORE YOUR VERY EYES! LIKE A MAGIC TRICK! IT HAPPENS AND POOF THEY ARE 12 WITH SMELLY FEET AND MONEY IN THEIR WALLET AND OPINIONS LIKE YOUR TODDLER COULD NEVER EVER KNOW! PAY ATTENTION NOW!!!"
Instead, I smile, swallow the 12 year old lump in my throat, and say it again... "Enjoy it all...it goes so quick."