Mothering a Young Man

When my son Isaac was younger, my relationship to him as Mother revolved around keeping him safe from his own crazy antics and ideas. He was an incredibly busy child, dashing head first into mischief, and while charming, most days he was utterly exhausting.

Isaac is 12 now – 13 in April – and has mellowed considerably. In fact, he’s so uncomplicated that I often worry if I’m missing any of his needs.

Mothering a Young Man

He still has plenty of mischief about him, but it’s as if his heart has grown on pace with his body. He’s 5’11” – my head rests on his cheek when we hug – and is one of the sweetest, kindest people I know.

Something has shifted in the dynamic between us over the past two years. Instead of me only protecting and providing for him, he has gently become my Protector and Provider. Having only daughters before him (and no brothers of my own), I never understood how this bond could grow between a mother and a son. He opens doors for me. He loads and unloads groceries for me. If I say I’m cold, he’ll come put his arms around me. All of this unprovoked, unsolicited. I know he sees a good example in his father (I am blessed), and much of it is because of his own good heart.

Mothering a Young Man

As we often do as our children grow, I look at Isaac and my vision fast-forwards 10 years. I treasure his goodness and can only hope it will increase as he matures. He will make a great Protector and Provider for someone else one day. That is what I want most of all, and yet I’m worried I’ll be like some mothers of married sons and jealously covet his care and attention. This was never something I worried about before, but I understand it a little more now.

But, truly, it isn’t 10 years from now. It’s today, right here. And for now, I will continue to enjoy the new discoveries of mothering this very special young man.