Last night I was driving Josh and Adam into town to my parents' house so that they could spend the night and go fishing early this morning with my dad. I've driven into town with them hundreds, even thousands, of times. And many of those within the last year or so with Josh in the front seat next to me. This trip was the same as all the others. Air on, music up, chatting mom and boys.
Then I looked to my right and had to stop myself from slamming on the brakes and pulling over to demand that the young man sitting next to me get out of my car. It was like looking at a stranger. All of a sudden, my little boy, my firstborn, my baby, is a young man. Instantly. Seriously. His face changed from one second of me looking at him, then to the road in front of me, then back. Instant change.
It brought tears to my eyes and took away my breath for a moment. When did this happen?! When?! How? Why? It's too soon. Way too soon. I remember noticing as all my children changed to kids from babies. Even Julianna in the last few months. But this. This change has caught me completely off guard. I have accused him of becoming a teenager a few months early. And have overlooked some of his moodiness that has come along with that.
But that face. That little boy face. The one that I've kissed every night for the past 12 years, 8 months, and 19 days has begun to disappear. It's becoming the face of a half grown adult. Stronger somehow. More mature. Grown.
And I'm not sure I like it. I'm not sure I hate it either. But I'm pretty sure I don't like it.
He's a handsome boy and has the nicest eyes and great hair. Which is nice...and scary as all get out. Because he kinda likes the girls. Always has. And they like him. Always have. And it's seriously causing me to have a panic attack. Really. Like right now, as I type, I'm breathing my way through one.
This wasn't supposed to happen so soon. This change for him...and for me. This whole growing up thing. I don't want it. I DON'T! I want to snuggle him on my lap and rub his hair and keep him there forever. I want him to call me mommy and need me to make his chocolate milk. I want him to stay little, stay little.
And yet, that young man sitting next to me in the car is kind of amazing. It's like a new friend. A new person to know and understand and love. One of those people that you feel like you've known forever, and yet are just getting to know.
In one way, I know him better than he knows himself. I know what he needs before he does. I know what he's going to say and do before he does it. But on the other hand, we're learning together, who this person is. This brown haired, blue eyed boy who is growing up. This boy who drives me crazy and amazes me in the same breath. The one who can both make my heart sing and infuriate me within minutes. The one who I had to bribe with five bucks to hold my hand for family pictures but then promised to kiss my cheek forever. Who is this person, and what has he done with my baby?
Wait. There. In his eyes. I can see it. It's him. It's my Yoshi. My sweet baby. My little boy. My young man.