Ages and stages


My oldest boy has been in the 5th grade for three months now—and it’s been quite an adjustment.

For me.

Yes, he’s doing great—thriving, in fact: making friends, learning his way around his new school and just generally having a blast. But it’s a confusing time.

For me.

Most of the time, he’s still my little boy: He sleeps with stuffed animals and the blanket grandma made him when he was a baby. He loves a good game of Candy Land. He would always rather sleep with his mama than in his own bed. And yes, still holds my hand and says I love you in public.


He is growing taller (up past my shoulder now). He’s losing some of his innocence and becoming wiser to the ways of the world. He’s starting to care about his appearance and having private conversations with his friends. And I’m still not used to the fact that he now goes to school with kids who look like they could be in college.


It’s a whole new world.

For me.

I’m struggling with how I feel about it all: I want him to stay tiny and adorable, yet I’m having a blast watching him sprout. I long to keep him in a place of blind innocence, yet I enjoy the newfound substance of our conversations. I miss being able to hold him on my hip, yet there is nothing in the world that compares to his giant bear hugs.

What can I do? How can I deal with the continuous cycle of change that goes along with growing children? I’ve already discovered that I am powerless to turn back the hands of time (not for lack of trying, I might add).

That leaves me with only one choice: Sit back and enjoy the ride as I watch my children grow.

Each passing year brings with it a new stage in their lives—and mine. Am I ready for it? Probably not. But this is parenthood—at its best.


  1. Beautifully worded. My boys are younger, but I’m still struggling with the whole growing up thing. I don’t want to face kindergarten next year. Forget about all the stuff that comes after that. But, sounds like he still needs his mama – and always will.

    • Linda,
      You still have so much time. Though, I do remember feeling this way when my boys were that young, too. Each stage means saying goodbye to the last.

  2. I feel the same way, Steph. My oldest will be ten in a couple weeks (double digits – aaack!), and my 8 year old – no joke – if almost as tall as me. I can’t believe how big they are getting! I keep thinking of how older moms always say, “Enjoy it now because it goes so fast.” And we poo-poo that because we are in the thick of it, but then suddenly – it has gone so fast. But, I think it’s true that they will always need us – I hope!

    • It’s true, Kathy. They do always say it. Now I’m the one saying it to moms of younger kids. It really does go by way, way too fast!

  3. Your son ‘surprised’ me Saturday night, by sneaking in the (intentionally unlocked) front door and hiding on the floor on the other side of the bed, waiting for me to emerge from the other room. When he jumped up to surprised me, I was taken aback at how much older he looked in that instant, though the great big bear hug was immediately forthcoming.
    Having witnessed my own two babies blossoming into amazing adults and parents, I am now reliving the all-too-familiar urge to stop the hands of time, all over again. Where did I put that box of tissues? Love-M

  4. I’m right there with ya. My oldest is 9. He’s up to my shoulder. He thinks he might be starting to sprout facial hair (I doubt it, but since when does he care about this?). Sigh.

    Found you on Pinterest just now. Following along on the various social networks and looking forward to reading more of your posts. 🙂

    • Julie,
      This is one aspect of parenting that I didn’t expect to be so hard. But we have no say in the matter, do we.

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