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Challenge: Digging Deep

'Between chubby cheeks and teenage angst': How I'm navigating the space between

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There was a time I counted your little toes because the time seemed to allow for it. There was a time I used to pull your head slowly into my neck so I could breathe you in. Oh how I miss that.

There are pictures that remain in my mind, and they are full of baby pouts, chubby cheeks and moments that seemed to move in slow motion. They are moments I didn’t realize I should have been recording. They are the moments that defined me as a mother.

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Somehow, despite the amount of warnings I received telling me just how fast time was going to move, I didn’t quite grasp it until I myself was caught up in the time warp. So here I am watching you. Here I am trying to figure out this time we are currently visiting. There are all these people talking about babies, toddlers, teenagers and college kids, but you don’t fit into any of those groups. You are somehow residing in the space between.

You are still a little boy but you are trying to navigate a bigger world. You are holding onto your forever friends, while finding your crew. You are still excited to see your mom and dad, but equally excited to wave goodbye. The funny thing is, you’re aware that the wave goodbye makes me sad. You are still okay with making sure we are okay.

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You are currently in the space between. You are not yet old enough to venture off on adventures of your own, yet not young enough to have us navigate them for you. These are new waters for all of us. No matter how prepared we feel there are moments that make us realize we fell short.

No one told me about the space between. No one told me how fast we would wind up here. No one told me that there was a time between chubby cheeks and teenage angst. No one told me.

So here we sit in the space between. Here we breathe in. Here we breathe out. Here we talk about things that don’t involve baby toes or teenage love. Here we talk. Here we fight. Here we love. Here we try the best we can to navigate the next steps. Here we laugh. Here we stay silly. Here we teach our boys about forgiveness. Here we teach them about love. Here we stay. Here we remain. HERE.

Here, we embrace the space between.


This piece originally appeared on Outsmarted Mommy

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