Puberty

The thought of my son hitting puberty breaks my heart. And I was surprised when I came to that realization. Even though he is over 10 years old, puberty is when he is officially not my little boy. I tell him that he will always be my baby, no matter how much bigger than me he will probably get, but the idea of my son, my baby, being a man, was more than I could handle without tears welling up in my eyes.

He went through his 10 year old check-up and there was no mention of what was to come. In fact, I asked about the HPV vaccine for boys and was told we did not have to think about that yet.

Then we had our check up for my son’s venous malformation, some extra veins in his leg. He said his leg hurt and I got scared that it was related to the veins, so we went to that doctor. She is the one who brought up pre-puberty as the situation that may change how his veins react during that growth period. My heart sank, emotion welled up in me, and I felt like I could cry.

I was at his birth, I cut his umbiklical cord, I changed hi diapers for years, and I wiped his butt passed the toddler years. Thisis not just my so, this is my baby and he always wil be. For some reason Puberty is the line of demarcation where it will all change. I know the physical will change, certainly the mental is changing daily as I get challenged constantly. But manhood changes everything, I am 54 and shrinking down to 5’9,” we suspect he will be well over 6 feet. I am completely unprepared emotionally for my baby to become a man. Yes, I would like things to stay this way forever!

My friend Stacy is going to give me a book, one that she showed her son to guide him through these years. But I thought I had time. And in fact, I do, but now that the word has been uttered I have to be more aware of what is to come. Now I have to take steps to be prepared. We do not have to have any talks yet, but now reality is setting in that we are going to have to deal with the physical changes. Not that anyone told me what the hell was happening, but I will not let my son go through this without knowledge and conversation.

My son, my baby, won’t be my baby. He will become a man before my eyes. I am not ready to lose my baby. Perhaps I will just forget this as it happens gradually over the next few years, just please, no one say the “P” word again!

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Comments

  1. 1
    Tiffany Dover says:

    I truly feel for you. We have two boys, an almost 21 month old and a 3 month old. Even though they are still so young, I can’t imagine them hitting puberty and being men. It really sucks to think about. Specially after all those years of them relying on you to do everything for them.

  2. 2

    I hear you. My son is going to be 13 in December. Every day now we talk about his Bar Mitzvah and I try to figure out how the kid who weighed 9 pounds at birth turned into this giant.

    Ok, he is not really a giant but compared to how big he was at birth… It is hard watching them grow up, but worth it.

  3. 3

    ::Hugs:: He will always be your baby. It’s good you’re talking to him about stuff sooner than later.

  4. 4

    My baby is now at least 5’10″, towers over me, and speaks with a voice so deep I can barely hear him. He is 13 years old. There are moments when I wonder where he came from and how this creature got in my house. Then he walks up, leans down, and gives me a big hug.

    They are always our baby boys no matter how old they may get.

  5. 5

    My kids are 5 and 3 and every year that passes by I feel the same way. My daughter is turning 6 in a month… 6 is still young but it feels like she was my little baby girl just yesterday… I often think about it and it often makes me sad. I am sure their teen years will be just as memorable as their baby years however.

  6. 6

    I am not looking forward to when my kids hit puberty. I am just thankful I do not have 5 girls!

  7. 7

    You have no idea how fast time moves until you try to stop it. Take it from someone who has been where you are, the conversation will be uncomfortable for you both, but you will get through it. I had the talk, then ended it with this line :”If you have questions about anything you can come ask me, because unlike the kids at school, I’ve had sex and I know the answers.” Good luck!

  8. 8
    NYCSingleMom says:

    Sadly we don’t have time. I really thought I would not have to have the talk about puberty and everything else until middle school but that is not even in our power. Outside sources (peers) which we have no control over are becoming more influential in my daughters life so I had to get ahead of the curve. I know its sad, trust me I look at ads with babies and get teary eyed.

  9. 9

    It’s hard Mitch. But the blessing is he has a great relationship with you and will know to come to you if anything worries him or if he has any questions. More than a bunch of books rely on advice from friends who’ve gone through the phase with their kids. Definitely helps so much more!

  10. 10

    Puberty is hard on both the parent and the child. The hormones – yikes. It won’t be easy but you will be great. As always.

  11. 11

    I feel for you! Puberty is hard for kid and parent alike! He will always be your baby:)

  12. 12

    Oh Mitch. I have 9 year old girl who is almost 10. i know your pain!

  13. 13
    Joanne Gregory says:

    You will both get through it and come out the other side. Puberty is nature’s way of helping you let go as much as it is helping him to become an independent adult. And it is just as much a time when he needs a strong loving parent as when he was a toddler. My 2 sets of kids are 8 yrs apart in age and I learned from the first ones so that when the second 2 became teenagers I quit working and focused on them. We planned things as a family and did things where they were in more controlled settings – community theater, Civil War reenacting, and extracurricular school things like band and track. It worked fairly well and I think they were too busy to get in much trouble. And we stayed connected. My youngest is 27 now and I get to be a grandma and enjoy her new baby!

  14. 14
    Kat Emerick says:

    Mitch, Your son will always be your little boy no matter how old he is. He will still rely on you , ask for favors or guidance in whatever he does. My son is 40 and still my baby, by little boy. He now has a family of his own and still calls me for advice. Always remember , he may be growing up but he will always be your little boy. Enjoy each day with him. I know it hurts and sad but you love him and want to keep in little. He will always be in your heart. Hope you all have a wonderful life together and stay close.

  15. 15

    It get really interesting-your child will stay as close as you let them-regardless if they say Don’t hug me- hug them- Walk into their bedroom -kiss them on the head- give affection all the time-as they get older the challenges come much more frequency-chose the battles that are important-hair-ears pierced-clothes (no so important) friends(serious important)-. Remember what their friends say are big deals to them-Know their friends-if you see serious bad or mean behavior-discuss it right away- LEARN TO SAY NO-Be the parent that the other kids like- not easy to do- explain stuff now -8-10 year olds know so much more about sex then we knew at that time-5 minutes on google- my sweet daughter(when she was in 4th grade) had figured out how to unblock cable stations -talk the talk and walk the walk -if you don’t want your kids to do it- then you need to not do it-gossip-swearing -badmouthing others- From birth kids watch and copycat parents-siblings-especially TV characters /movie heroes-chose what they watch wisely! And just love them and tell them all the time!

  16. 16

    I totally know how you feel! Our three boys are now 13, 15, and 20 (we also have a 17 yr. old daughter). It is heartwrenching how fast they grow up and I can cry almost anytime I think about it. But, it is also very exciting to see them become young adults right before your eyes. You just feel so proud you could burst. It sounds like you have a close and loving relationship with your son so I’m sure things will be fine. My teens might not let me fuss and love on them as much as when they were little, but they let me know they still need me every day.

  17. 17

    I don’t even want to talk about this. lol My oldest son will be 18 in just EIGHT days!!! Then I still have two more. My daughter will be ten shortly and that is making me sad thinking about her coming to this. We still have a while with our little one but the day will come. Hang in there. It’s not so bad. Maybe.

  18. 18

    Time passes way too fast. I have 4 and in 2 years 2 have left my house. I only have my baby girl (16) and baby boy (14). I hated puberty, I hated them growning up, and I hate them leaving my home. Cherish each and every moment cause the time will pass way too fast.

  19. 19

    They grow up all too fast. cherish every moment because they will be out of the house before you know it.

  20. 20

    I struggle with this every single day. It brought tears to my eyes reading your post because I think a lot of the same things.

    I also tell my kids to stop growing up but they never listen.

  21. 21

    Ugh, I can’t imagine. I don’t want those days to come with my kids! The book sounds like it will be a great help.

  22. 22

    Puberty is no fun for anyone. Be thankful you don’t have a girl – they start a lot earlier than boys most of the time. I know multiple young girls who got aunt flow before age 10. :(

  23. 23

    I can totally relate. My son was a preemie when he was born (2 1/2 pounds and 14″ long). He was barely bigger than a Barbie doll. Now he’s taller than me!

    It’s hard to watch your “baby” grow up. My son went from a squeaky little voice to sounding like Barry White in a matter of months! I still freak out when I see his moustache. My baby can’t have a moustache!

    It’s hard to think that all the baby stuff and “firsts” are over with, but really, they are not. You will still be there for him on his first date, first kiss, first real girlfriend, first dance, first time behind the wheel of a car, high school graduation, college, first job… Not to mention one day you’ll be a grandpa!

    Enjoy all the magical moments you can with him. Shower him with love and let him know you are always there for him. That is all we can do as parents.

    Hugs to you!!!!!

    Just wait until the first facial hairs start sprouting. LOL! :-)

  24. 24

    Oh, my dear…you are not alone.
    I am 36 years old and have 2 teen girls (17 & 15) and a little boy (6). I STILL call Jackson (my son), my baby boy. He hasn’t fought me on it yet…so I will keep on it. :)

    My girls…well…obviously, they hit puberty long ago. My 15 yr. old is WAY more independent than my 17 yr. old. But I wish BOTH of them needed me more…

    Just know that when he gets older, has a family of his own…he will need you more than you will EVER know…if you are worried about him losing touch.
    But I get ya. … losing my babies to puberty sucked. I am NOT going to like it when Jackson starts with the P word… :(

  25. 25
    XmasDolly says:

    Been there done that four times! 2 boys & 2 girls and it doesn’t get any easier each time because each one is your baby, but you are the one that has to get ready for it not your baby just yet it sounds like. My friend it’s going to happen so don’t have a nervous breakdown. Just take one day at a time and when it’s time you’ll know it, I promise and when you’re all done with “the talk”, I’ll be here with the tissues! Geez… what are you going to do when he goes on his first date! ~hehehehe~ Now let him go play with his baseball cards or tonka trucks and leave that child alone until he’s ready! Sheesh! Ya think he was going to his first concert or something…. OMG KEEP HIM AWAY FROM THOSE!!!!! bwahahahahaha I was just thinkin’ of my own. bwahahahaha Have a great weekend! TIME TO ROCK & ROLL!

  26. 26

    My mother has told my girls since they were little that they need to stop growing up. And, Sadly, they have not listened. My daughter will be 10 on Monday and I’m sure this passageway to the double digits is going to be a rollercoaster of fun, tears, listening and love.

  27. 27

    Hugs! We are riding the puberty roller coaster with my 15 year old daughter right now, and I’m not looking forward to my younger two growing up to meet that milestone either… One of my friends gave me great advice today – ‘hug your child often and remind them that in a few years everything you do and say will be wrong in their eyes… and that’s okay because it’s part of the growing up process… but remember that we’ve had the talk and it’ll be okay to say sorry later on…:

  28. 28

    Time does go by quickly, doesn’t it. Take pride in the fact that you’ve raised a fine, young man. :)

  29. 29

    He will always be your baby to you, even if he no longer allows you to call him that in public. My son is only 8, so he’s a little way off from puberty, but he already tells me that I can’t kiss him in public because it’s embarrassing. It makes me sad because he’s growing up so fast. He’s my only and will remain my only. But think of all the milestones yet to come! Puberty isn’t the end. :) Although it’s easy for me to say that when I’m still years away. Ask me how I feel about it in three to five years or so!

  30. 30
    Renee Addison-Hutchinson says:

    Puberty is always the time it kicked in that they are no longer babies.

  31. 31

    He may grow up but will know who is dad is, a loving caring person who was there for him when he came into this world. Even though I didn’t think I did a great job with my son he has become a great person and lets me know it every time we see each other that he loves me, he’s 22 now. During the ages of like 14 -18 he had to figure things out and was a bit moody at times because I didn’t always agree with him but you have to let them be a little independent and when they get past that stage of having to prove it it’s then they realize the most of how much you have done for them, so pick your battles very cautiously because he wants to prove his manhood. You will see how much he will depend on you anyway but don’t let him know every minute that he needs you, he will resent that. Just remember yourself at that age and how much you wanted that independence…LOL…I can read how much you care and must be a great dad, you show much love by the way you write about him. I see him loving you and being around you way past puberty and who knows you might have grandkids and more to love, but I don’t want you to panic with that so very far away from now….

    sibabe64 at ptd dot net

  32. 32

    Man, do I feel for you; I think it is a universal feeling. I get it day-in-day-out whenever we cross a milestone. We lost a cute little shriek when talking came about, we lost a cute little wobble when running came about, but at the same time, we gained better communication and now we can run together. Children are a bittersweet proposition. I try to take a deep breath and hope I captured all the lost stuff on film or in my heart before I move on to the new exciting moment we’re going to have. In truth, I still cry (literally) here an there from nostalgia, but when I look at my forever LO I smile again.

    I’d love to know the title of the book your friend is going to give you.

  33. 33
    Lorayne Gothard says:

    I understand how you feel. I will always see my kids as my babies regardless!!! I have one 16 now and he is going through alot of changes. Hard to see them grow up!!

  34. 34
    Ashley Miller says:

    I have 4 girls, but I can completely relate with you!! My two 12 year olds (no their not twins lol, I adopted my husbands daughter due to her mother leaving her at a very young age) have already started their cycle. I have been very emotional since. Not to mention seeing the changes they go through mentally and physically. This is the hardest thing for us parents, i think, because we are watching our babies grow up right in front of our eyes. I know your son will grow into an awesome young man and remember – they will always be our babies no matter how grown they are. =)

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