The moment passed by so quickly that I almost did not recognize it for what it was, but my almost-teenage son declared independence today. I was nagging Link about the story he needs to write for school. I called him to the kitchen, prepared to sit down and write as he told the story. Link was feeling grumpy about it, because he wanted to play video games instead. I began to explain my plan, but Link scowled at me and announced.
“Mom, I’m not a baby.”
Still focused on getting the work done, I asked if he would prefer to do the writing himself. He said that he would and he stomped up to his room with paper and clipboard.
It was only after he was gone that I began to think. Just a few months ago, he was so tangled about writing that unless I acted as a scribe, he couldn’t accomplish anything at all. Those same few months ago, Link was lamenting that he had to grow up because he just wanted to stay a kid. The fact that he would reject my help and declare himself as an older kid, indicates that something inside him has shifted. He is beginning to want his own triumphs rather than support from me. I’m glad to see it.
Now it is time for me to step back. Link is ready to be more grown up. He needs me to quietly eliminate the habits of thought and action which treat him as a young child. In so many ways he still is one, but every day he is less so.