My son waited all day to head to the mall to indulge in his favorite teriyaki chicken with udon noodles. He had his own money and was going to purchase two servings. One for now and one for later. He let himself get very hungry because it was so worth it. We hit the mall and were transported in to the twilight zone. Where once their stood 20 plus food venders there were only 5. New walls were put up, floors space was missing and we were confused. Sadly, the favorite spot was missing. We took a look at the other restaurants but nothing came close to what he had been craving for all day long.

We left the mall in search of something that would satiate his hunger. On route to check out the Happi House, apparently specializing in teriyaki, we ran in to Major Lazer’s new song Bubble Butt (if you choose to track down this song, I recommend AVOIDING youtube, that’s an image that’s gonna take a while to erase from my mind).  Here I saw how much my boy had changed and grown and how very thankful I was to have been present along the way. The song had us both in hysterics. My son saying, “This song can’t make it big. I don’t wanna hear it on the radio all the time.”

Before now the lyrics of his favorite songs were just words to be repeated when he like the beat. He would sing along blissfully unaware of much of what was being said. But now at 11 he is starting to really “hear” what the songs are saying. And ask “did he really just say ________ .”  It struck me that I am now traveling the earth with someone who is much closer to adult then to child.  We discuss sex, birth control, drugs and much else that is brought up through the music. We talk about hopes and dreams and times when he will live away from me. And it’s not in a far off way, it is in a very practical when I bump in to that part of my life way. And I can not say enough how very much I treasure this.

I have appreciated all the phases of living with him. The baby, toddler, young child years have all been delicious. But someone how I am starting to believe that this phase that is here and stretching forward, is the icing on the cake. The way in which he shares with me about the world, about his curiosities, about his future hopes is showing me a window in to the man he is becoming. The way we can openly discuss his thoughts on big issues, his observations of the world around me give me a peek in to the soul that is so uniquely his. And it is in all of this that I want to drop to my knees in overwhelming gratitude for each moment I have been present to really hear him. To create the sort of relationship that makes him want me in his life, as both mother and friend.

Years of working to maintain a connected relationship have given me a chance to sit beside my son as one of his most trusted confidants. To be a person he wants to try new thoughts and ideas out on. A safe space for him to question the big stuff with, to toss ideas back and forth, to dream and ponder with. Sitting there beside him in the car, figuring our way through the innuendos of bubble butt, I knew this was what I had hoped for from the moment I met this amazing human being. To forever be by his side to witness just exactly who he is. To have a relationship built on mutual respect and unconditional love. He will one day fly away from the nest but this foundation is what will keep us forever close in a heart space sort of way.

So today I am once again slapped in the face with a humbling sense of gratitude for the choice I made to stay home with my boys, for all these years, living, learning and loving side by side.

As a foot note to this piece I can’t help but share that we did not end up buying food at any restaurant. We ended up at the grocery store where I watched my eleven year old price out food while considering the nutritional value as much as his hunger needs. While telling me a story of how he had unclogged the toilet the other day with the plunger on his own. When I said “hey why didn’t you get dad or I to help you. ” He looked at me and said “Mom, when I live on my own I am going to need to know how to use a plunger.” Attachment parenting does not rob a child of their independence it invites a parent in to witness it naturally unfolding.