There's something special about my relationship with my son—my mama's boy. And watching him grow up is breaking my heart in ways it doesn't with my four girls.
He needs me in ways my girls don't because he's different than them. He needs to be nurtured in a way that balances out his rising testosterone levels and his rough and tumble ways.
Raising my son has come with a different set of joys, toys and challenges. I have loved getting to experience aspects of motherhood with a different lens based on who he is and what he specifically needs from me (of course, each of my children provide that in their own ways).
I love the way he notices little details and compliments when I do something new to my hair or wear something new to church. Hearing "I like your dress. You look beautiful, Mommy!" never gets old. I love the pictures and stories he writes about me at school or on cards for my birthday.
He has a tender heart amongst his active movements. He seems to express his love for me in different ways than my girls, and it truly makes my heart sing. I want to (and try to) file those memories away to save forever.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love being a girl mom, too. They get me in ways my son doesn't and we have similar interests. I love getting to see the same outfits passed down from daughter to daughter and being reminded of the memories we made when they each wore them. I love our tea parties and their enthusiasm for fancy dresses. I love how they ask me to do their hair everyday. Though all my girls are unique in their own way and have their own distinct personalities, they are also similar in a lot of ways, too.
But with four girls I get to experience having a girl over and over again. With each being about two years apart, as soon as one leaves a phase, another seems to enter it. What breaks my heart in these fleeting days with my son is that this is it—this is my only time experiencing being a boy mom.
I get to see the girls' hand me downs over and over and their dolls repeatedly played with. They have their common bond of being females no matter their age difference, while my son's things don't really have anyone to pass them down to in our family.
He doesn't have a little buddy to play with his cars or Toy Story figurines when he's over them. We don't get to experience the house covered in race tracks anymore, or birthday banners proclaiming his obsession of Cars. His tiny Lightning McQueen shoes he wore every day for a year went to a stranger instead of one of his siblings. It was a sad, sad day for this mama.
As a mom of five where my oldest is 11 and quickly approaching the phase where moms aren't needed as much and aren't really considered cool anymore, I know his time is just around the corner as well. He may still be little now, but I know how quickly these years pass.
I'll blink and he will be hitting puberty. His voice will change, he may be taller than me, and he will likely be embarrassed by my affection.
But for now, at 7 years old, I'll cherish these sweet moments with my boy for as long as I can. One of my favorite parts about our day is how he falls asleep—needing me every night for one last dose of affection for the day. One last assurance of safety. Sure, it takes a few extra minutes to sit with him as he falls asleep, but I wouldn't miss these moments for the world.
It's there in the quiet, when the battles are forgotten and only love pours out between us, that the frustrations of the day are washed away. As he falls asleep holding my hand until I sneak away, it tugs at my heart knowing that this won't last forever.
One day he'll be too grown-up for his mama's affection, just as he's already left behind his affection for Cars. He's moved on to Minecraft and Legos, and one day he will move on to a different special someone in his life—and it won't be me.
But for now, I am his special someone. So, I will hold his hand until he is ready to let go.