when your babies aren’t babies anymore

“I had a bad dream.”

He admits while curling into a ball with his head in my lap.

I know this has to be hard (I asked permission to even tell you about it) to confess his nightmares.

“You want to talk about it?”

At almost thirteen he lives on that edge between wanting to find comfort in me and feeling too old to hide away in safety of mom.

“You rolled down the driveway and you flipped out of your chair.  I couldn’t help you.”

We have a very long driveway and the end is quite steep.  I don’t go there by myself because it IS unsafe for me.

My son dreamed of a reality where I needed him, and he wasn’t there.

Nathaniel’s fear was one of my own.

“You know I’m very careful and I never go out of my way to put myself in harm’s way.”

“Do you promise me to never flip over?”

“I’ll do my best.”

“You can promise me you’ll never flip?”

“Nathaniel. Look at me! Do I look like a gymnast to you?”

For a few good laughs the bad dreams run away.

We forget.

I’m not the only one that came home with scars.

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21 Responses to when your babies aren’t babies anymore

  1. Liz September 20, 2010 at 8:39 PM #

    I was in my early twenties; my brother was in his late teens. My whole family, he and I and our parents, were working together on a project on our farm. We were building a trailer to haul stuff around on, and my mom was working under it when it fell (somehow, I’m not sure how) and landed off balance on my mom’s back. (She’s ok. She had a minor fracture, and I don’t think it hurts her anymore.) But it was super scary, and my brother, all of 19 years old, picked up that heavy mass of metal and wood all by himself so that she could get out before my dad or I had a moment to realize what had happened.

    Little boys (and not so little boys) are fierce in their love for their moms. That’s one heck of a son you’ve raised there, Anissa.

  2. Laura September 20, 2010 at 6:09 PM #

    This choked me up. I remember growing up, my mother had a number of serious surgeries that had her in a wheelchair and then crutches and I had a recurring nightmare that we both fell off a local extension bridge. It’s a horrible feeling, knowing you can’t protect your mother. You’ve got wonderful kids.

  3. Luci September 20, 2010 at 5:06 PM #

    This post made me cry. What a wonderful son you have to worry about you so much! Tell him he’s never too old for mom’s lap.

  4. Neeroc September 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM #

    Wht a sweet, sad story and yet a wonderful glimpse into your relationship. This brought a tear to my eye.

    Neeroc´s last post…Tomatogeddon

  5. Coal Miner's Granddaughter September 20, 2010 at 2:43 PM #

    Now that is a sweet, young man. You’re a lucky Mom!

    Coal Miner’s Granddaughter´s last post…Project 2-996 – Mohammed Shajahan

  6. Angela at mommy bytes September 20, 2010 at 11:05 AM #

    {{{HUGS}}} to you both.

    Angela at mommy bytes´s last post…Heart Rock

  7. Tricia September 20, 2010 at 8:28 AM #

    Boys always have this incredibly soft spot for their moms, whether they’ll admit it or not. It’s so nice your baby isn’t afraid to show you his love, and his fear. And I think with some practice, you could kick ass at chair-nastics right?

  8. Marilyn (A Lot of Loves) September 20, 2010 at 2:23 AM #

    When I was 8 I was in a horrific car accident with my mother that resulted in her spending months in the hospital and her recovery occurred over many years. I think I have a little understanding of how your son feels. There’s a realization that happens when you understand that bad stuff can happen quick and without reason. That we want to help but can’t always. It’s a defining moment in my life and I’m sure in his. He sounds like a great kid.

    Marilyn (A Lot of Loves)´s last post…Proving She Lives Here Too

  9. erika September 19, 2010 at 11:40 PM #

    i love this.
    i love young teen boys. still sweet little boys in so many ways…

  10. Musings of a Housewife September 19, 2010 at 9:45 PM #

    Aren’t sons awesome? My “baby boy” is 10.

  11. Kristin September 19, 2010 at 9:15 PM #

    It sounds like you have a very sweet, caring young man on your hands…and, I love the way you handled it with him.

    Kristin´s last post…Goodies Galore

  12. ann's rants September 19, 2010 at 8:52 PM #

    I love the way you talk to your kids.

    And you are so smart to piece out that his fear is not just that you’ll get hurt, but specifically that he can’t help.

    Every time I come here I am reminded to use less words–in writing and in life.


  13. pam September 19, 2010 at 8:44 PM #

    Most of the time I read your words and think of you. Today I think of the babies too.

    pam´s last post…Nommy nommy yum yum

  14. Judy Schwartz Haley | CoffeeJitters.Net September 19, 2010 at 8:42 PM #

    you’re such a good mom – I love that you asked his permission to post the dream. I also love that you raised such a sensitive and compassionate young man. I’m sure you wish he didn’t have to have these worries this young, we all do. But he’s lucky to have such an awesome Mom.

    Judy Schwartz Haley | CoffeeJitters.Net´s last post…Doris McKinley

  15. Carrie Anne September 19, 2010 at 8:42 PM #

    Babies you can comfort. You can say, “It will be okay. That won’t happen.”

    Kids becoming adults, however? Have to learn the hard truth of life. Something you can’t protect yourself from, let alone them. All you can do is love them.

    Carrie Anne´s last post…Pretty Pictures- Orchids

  16. thepsychobabble September 19, 2010 at 8:25 PM #

    1)That’s awesome that you asked him if you could write about it. Seriously.
    2)I think you handled it well.
    3)Oh, how much that boy loves you. Am teary-eyed.

    thepsychobabble´s last post…Sometimes- There is No Escape

  17. statia September 19, 2010 at 8:18 PM #

    I love that you asked him if you could write about it. That speaks volumes.

    statia´s last post…Exit only

  18. Carrie September 19, 2010 at 8:17 PM #

    Just like that…the perfect thing to say. I know alllll about this age you’re talking about with an 11 almost 12 y.o. boy and a 13 y.o. one! I wish I had half the wisdom as you do.

    Carrie´s last post…This is Your Brain on Parenthood

  19. Catherine from Wink at Me September 19, 2010 at 8:13 PM #

    You handled that like a pro. My guy (10) dreams of bad guys getting me. Its so sad when their minds take them to those scary places. Thankfully we can be there.

    Catherine from Wink at Me´s last post…Unfinished Business – installment 2

  20. moosh in indy. September 19, 2010 at 8:11 PM #

    Oh man, it’s stuff like this, boys taking care of their moms, that makes me okay with the idea of boys.
    You’re a lucky lady.
    Even if you are a crappy gymnast.

  21. InDueTime September 19, 2010 at 8:11 PM #

    I’m in tears. It’s so very clear that boy loves you. I can’t wait for that. I hope one day I have a son who loves me just the same.

    You rock, Momma!

    InDueTime´s last post…A Month

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