I always refer to Jacob as "my son" or "my baby" or "my big butt" (his pet name- I know, poor kid will be scarred for life). But today I had one of those moments where being a mommy kind of comes into perspective. It's hit me like a bag of bricks before, but today with him getting a big boy haircut, the moment seemed more poignant and kinda hit me where it hurts.
I realized that Jacob is not just something I possess or keep around for my own benefit (like most things in my life). He's not just an extention of me but he is becoming (and I guess he always has been) his own person. He has his own preferences. His own tastes. His own opinions about how the world should be. His own little personality is becoming more apparant each day. He tells us what he likes and doesn't like. He tells us what he wants and what he needs. He likes certain things to always be certain ways.
It makes me realize that I'm not just a parent because it's fun. Or because it's a hobby that I picked up some weekend when I was bored (although....no, won't go there). Or because it's a job I get paid to do. I do it because it's a responsibility. And a big one at that. I have to be responsible for another person. A PERSON. My baby is a PERSON. Wow, I have to soak that one up for a couple minutes to fully understand it.
Someday he'll be a grown up big man. He'll be someone's boyfriend. Someone's husband. Someone's dad. Someone's employee. Someone's best friend. I have to lay the ground work for all of that. I have to make sure he gets everythig he needs to grow big and strong and smart and caring and a responsible citizen. Phew. I'm tired just thinking of it.
And someday, he'll sit down in a therapists chair and complain about his life and the therapist will point to me. To everything I'm doing right now. It will be like a final evaluation of my parenting job. Scary, scary thought.
Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing alright. It seems like the line is fine between allowing Jacob to express himself and explore his own individuality and also making sure he gets what he needs. Am I teaching him right from wrong? Am I teaching him to use his brain but also to use his heart? Am I feeding him the right things and making sure he learns to share and clean up his toys while at the same time letting him be a kid and explore the world?
Man, I don't know. But I hope when he does sit in that therapist chair and that therapist makes him relive those early moments of his childhood, I hope he smiles. And laughs. And remembers childhood as one of his best times. And I hope he thinks about me and knows that he was (and is) loved. And I will be ok with the fact that I failed him in every other way. If I couldn't remember how to divide fractions, made him ride the bus to school with the bullies, if I cooked weird experiments for dinner or never took him to Disneyland or never let him have a puppy or forgot to teach him how to do his own laundry. I'd be ok with all those mega failures as a parent as long as he learned just one thing. That he was always loved and accepted by his failure parents.