Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Growing Up

One of my favorite parts of my church service is a part referred to as the “Sign of Peace.” When the time comes, we turn to our fellow parishioners, shake their hands, and say “Peace be with you.” The first person I look at with this happens is my wife. I always give her a kiss. Then, I hug both my sons, kiss them on the top of their heads, and say “Peace Be With You.”

Lately, my older son has taken issue with this. During church last Sunday, this scene was greeted with a “Dad, I’m getting too old for this.”

It’s not the first time he’s said this. (And, as he’s getting taller, kissing him on the top of the head isn’t as easy as it used to be.) It started one morning when I took him to school. I often work from home and sometimes I get the pleasure of taking my kids to school. When I took both of them to elementary school, I could tell them I love them and get a small hug. Granted, it wasn’t a big hug as they were in the back seat and I was in the front. Still, I loved sending them off every morning with a hug.

But now, my older son is in middle school.

He started there a year ago and is now in seventh grade. He’s involved with the school’s jazz band and honors band, which practices before school starts. When I drop him off, I always make sure he gets in the building before I leave. Eventually, he got old enough to ride in front. The good thing about this was that I could give him a bigger hug. Until recently.

I knew it had to come to end soon. He’s a teenager. I’m supposed to be an idiot in his eyes for at least the next seven or eight years. I’ll miss the hug.

All is not lost. I do have a nine-year old. He still lets me do things like tuck him in.

But the days are waning fast.


Pam said...

It's tough, Walt. I've been through this three times now. The good news is my 23yo is happy to accept hugs from me again. So I know it will cycle back with my other two, as well.

Catherine West said...

Ah, yes. The I'm too cool for school stage. I learned with my son to just wait it out. Eventually they figure out that you're pretty cool too and they accept you back into the inner circle. With limitations, but hey, beggars can't be choosers.
Grab those hugs while you can, the years go by in a flash!

Lydia K said...

I remember that stage. I didn't want to hold hands with my mom. It'll pass. In the meantime, enjoy the fact that he's becoming independent in some ways--a necessary step in his life.

I'm not looking forward to this stage with my kids!

Shelli (srjohannes) said...

noooo - i have a 7 and 3 year old. they grow too fast! nice meeting you today on seekerville and thanks for stopping by.

ps I think you should keep kissing him - he prob secretly loves it :)

Melissa said...

Sadly, this is all part of growing up. My son started 6th greade this year and all the signs of his pulling away are there. He too will be pulling away soon. But I totally agree. We must keep at least hugging them. They need it whether they know it or not. :)