Big Mony Merchandice is thirteen, and I am struggling. Every time I look at my oldest son, I want to cry. He was just born, and now he’s interested in girls—and I’m not one of them. Not too long ago, Big Mony wanted to marry me.
Now I’ve been kicked to the curb for some little girl at his school, who can’t even drive. Not only can I drive, I can drive a stick shift and parallel park.
But none of that matters, because my son has reached puberty. Just typing that word makes me want to crawl in bed, pull my faux fur comforter over my head and dramatically sigh like some forlorn drama queen.
I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t help feeling some kind of way about my baby transforming into a young man. And I thought I had my emotions under control. I’ve spent the past four years preparing myself for this time in my life. The time when I have to come to terms with the fact that my kids are growing up.
When Big Mony turned nine, I had an emotional breakdown at the YMCA under the cabana as I watched him and National Big Swirlee take swimming lessons.
I was reading, and when I looked up, I realized that my beautiful baby was already nine. And nine years from that moment he would be leaving for college. Before I knew it, I was blubbering like Lucy when Ricky told her she couldn’t meet the queen.
One of the life guards came over and asked, “Ma’am are you okay? Do you want me to call someone for you?”
“No, I’m okay,” I said. “My son turned nine today!”
He just stared down at me, not knowing what to say to the crazy lady crying over her son’s birthday.
“Can I ask you a question?” I said, once I got myself together.
“Sure,” he said.
“How old are you?”
“Oh, God! You’re poor mother!” I started crying again and excused him from psycho-mom patrol.
Oh, the horror!
I know I have issues. Big Daddy made that perfectly clear when he said, “You have issues.” And I know that my oldest baby growing up is just a part of life, but that doesn’t make it any easier. I just want him to be that little boy with those sweet little hands that smelled like happiness and chocolate.
But I know that’s not possible.
This is my first baby, and just when I think it’s the beginning of the end, I’ll find a drawing of something pretty on my desk that Big Mony created just for me. And at that moment, I know all is not lost.
How did you handle your kid(s) growing up too fast?