Almost a Dozen

His voice drifted from one room to the next, clear and sweet, piercing my heart with one of those melty motherhood warm-fuzzies.

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…”

The sound was sweet, indeed. Annika got shots yesterday, which threw everything off. Naps were later, meals were sporadic, and there was a lot of crying. It was finally bedtime, and I was exhausted, having dragged myself from bed yesterday morning just before 5:00.


“I’ll try to calm her down if you want, Mom,” he said. I agreed. I didn’t think it would work, honestly. I figured she’d just keep fussing until he had to hand her off to me, but I was grateful for his willingness to try.

Within 15 minutes, he had her sound asleep as he crooned in her ear.

“Was blind, but now I see.”

He walked into the kitchen and threw his arms in the air, triumphant. “She fell asleep on my chest!” he exclaimed. “It was so cute!”

She slept threw the night last night for the first time in months. Coincidence? Maybe. But I informed Sloan this morning that he officially has the job of Bedtime Master for his baby sister. He thought I was joking.

I’m totally not joking.


Yesterday I did a lot of things. Lots of mom-things, and writer things, and a few lazy things, and most of them were good things.

There was one thing, though, that I didn’t do enough of. Today I want to do more of this thing, because today is my only chance. Today I want to hug my big boy – the first one to call me mom. Today is the last day he will be eleven.

Tomorrow we’ll wake up to a twelve year old. A dozen years ago, I held him for the first time. It feels like a blur. I have one more year until I become the mother of a teenager.



I don’t even know how to feel about that. On the one hand NO! NONONONONONONONO! NO! I’m too young to be the mother of an almost teenager.



On the other hand, “YES PLEASE!”

Sloan has become a lot of fun to parent in the last year. The thing about that big loving first born of mine is he’s always kept us on our toes. He’s gregarious and precocious, and loves arguing like I love eating Nutella.

But the past six months have brought a new change. He’s maturing, calming down a little, gaining the perspective of a bigger kid, and his patience is slowly lengthening. It’s really delightful watching him mature into a young man. I genuinely love watching him get older.

Cute Sloan

As much as the idea of being the mother of a teenager freaks me out, I also cannot wait for these teen years. People always make it seem like they’re something to be feared, but I think they’re to be celebrated.

With each passing year, this boy of mine becomes more independent. Now, instead of just telling him what to do, we get to have deeper conversations about why he should do the right thing. And he gets it.

He’s smart and kind, a huge servant, and he loves his baby sister in such a unique and special way. A few weeks ago he asked me if she could come live with him when he’s all grown up and out of the house. The idea of leaving her brings him some fear, and I’m fine with that.


Photo by Avodah Images

Maybe he’ll stay close to home after graduation.

Or maybe he won’t. I don’t know, really. All I know is that today, I still have an eleven year old. And I’m truly delighted to be that kid’s mom.


This picture was taken three years ago…when he was still shorter than me.

I’m also delighted that he’s so good at putting his sister to bed.

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