In-be-TWEEN

Yesterday, I became the mom of an 11-year-old.

We had a great day celebrating our sweet, tender-hearted, super creative first born. And yet, I did have a few melancholy moments of realization that my baby is growing up.

I have been trying to cope with some of the changes that come with being the mom of a Tween. I’m a little nervous about adjusting my parenting style to navigate the waters of this awesomely wonderful, and yet confusing stage lodged between kid and adolescent.

Here are just a few of the adjustments I’ve been trying to make.

Now, my kid can engage in deep meaningful conversations with me. And at other times, I will ask him a question and he will give me that silent stare that tells me he doesn’t want to talk about it.

When it comes time for gifts, he’s still a kid that plays with toys on some level, but it’s hard to find anything that’s not “babyish.” And yet, I’m not quite ready for a wish list that includes nothing but electronics and clothes.

A few weeks ago, I was shopping for his Halloween costume and realized that it was nearly impossible to find something in his size that was cool, but not too creepy. I went to six different stores to try to find something that would work!

He’s still young enough for a kids’ meal in some restaurants. But it’s usually not enough food to really fill his big-boy appetite.

My kid who has always been up at the crack of dawn is now the last one to roll out of bed in the morning.

I’ve always bought the majority of my kids’ clothing at Children’s Place, but I have to shop carefully to make sure I only buy him shirts and jeans that don’t look too “kidish.” Now, he has outgrown nearly everything in the store.

He still seems comfortable hanging out with a few of his close friends who are girls. But he gets embarrassed if he “gets stuck” sitting at the “girl table” in class.

I’m trying to give him more freedom to make certain choices for himself. But he still asks mom for permission out of habit.

He’s very responsible in taking care of his younger siblings. But he’s not quite to the point of being a babysitter. And yet, many of our babysitters are only a few years older than he is.

I guess it’s good for both the moms and the kids that we have a few years of being in-be-TWEEN. It’s helping me ease into the next stage that will be here before I can blink!

aug2011emily

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