As we welcome the beginning of a new year, I am also reminiscing about an entire decade that I've spent as a mother to my son. My adult life began in 1991, when the birth of my son forced me to grow up unexpectedly fast. Admittedly, I made some mistakes in the beginning, but I wouldn't trade those ten years of my life for anything. My son and I embarked on a long journey together a decade ago.
Our roles have changed periodically throughout this time. When he was learning his shapes and colors, I was his teacher. When we took our first cross-country road trip, we were both students of the world around us. And when I learned to stand up for myself and be strong enough to make my own choices, I was the student as he taught me about life in his own subtle and abstract ways.
As we start a new decade together, I see the cycle continuing. Right now, I am teaching him to handle the changes he'll encounter as he matures and faces "grown-up" responsibilities. I think the next lesson will be mine, as he teaches me to let go a little and give him freedom to make his own mistakes and learn from them, or to be proud of decisions that he's made completely on his own. And together we will experience new adventures, as we read books, watch movies, take trips, and simply spend time enjoying each other's company.
A decade sounds like such a long time. But it seems as if it was just a few short moments ago when he was learning how to ride a bike without training wheels. And I know I need to savor every moment in our future, because sooner than I can imagine, he'll be back on four wheels as he learns how to drive his first car.