This past weekend, our second child, our only son, graduated from High School. Much of my time in the days preceding was spent going through pictures, capturing moments to display on his Reflection Board. As I looked back at the process of a little boy turning into a man, I remembered a conversation among a group of friends long ago, probably at the park as our kids played together. These friends, most of whom had kids just a little older than mine, were talking about their favorite stages of childhood, from a mother’s perspective. One friend said something that has always stuck with me:
“Every stage is my favorite.”
How true it is:
When they are babies, it’s my favorite because they are adorable, cuddly, and miraculous.
When they are toddlers, it’s my favorite because they are doing something new every day, the age of discovery.
When they are moving into school age, it’s my favorite because their independence immerges and their personalities develop.
When they approach the teen years, it’s my favorite because they are big enough to have an opinion and be on their own a bit, but small enough to still give mom hugs that fit under her chin.
When they start driving, it’s my favorite because the taxi service slows down and the adult in them starts to show.
When they are in their late teens, it’s my favorite because we can do adult things together, and since we have given them freedom, they still like to be with us.
Right now, the graduation stage is my favorite. A little less parenting, a little more friendship and sage advice. And a big world out there waiting to be tested and explored.
I’m enjoying every moment, until the next stage.