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I started a tradition when my boys were very young. We would pack lunches on the weekend and walk a trail together at Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue.

This trail led us through a canopy of trees, across railroad tracks, and ended along the riverside where we would spread out a blanket and enjoy a picnic and random conversation. Once we were done eating and solving worldly issues, we would retrace our steps before collapsing exhausted back into our car and heading home.

Over the next several years, the trail was the only thing that stayed the same. The two boys matured and welcomed a little sister to the mix. The car became a minivan. The mom became less stressed (well, technically, the mom shifted her stress to a whole new batch of stuff).

Life was good.

But as the famous book Love you forever by Robert Munsch so eloquantly describes, “That little boy grew. And he grew and he grew and he grew.”

And in my oldest’s son’s case, that little boy grew monster feet and an even bigger attitude.

After listening to nonstop complaining about his heat-induced headache, how he didn’t like the bugs, and how he couldn’t suffer one more step, I looked at my oldest and threatened that this would be the last time he made the trek with us. His response hit me like a ton of bricks…

“Good!”

He is stubborn like his father and thinks he’s right all the time like me.

So what’s a mom to do but allow him to be him? To change with the seasons and float wherever the wind takes him?

I still have two more children who generally think the Earth revolves around me. They enjoy doing activities with me and with each other.

So why is it so hard to swallow the fact that I can no longer force HIM to enjoy what I do? He is becoming his own man before my very eyes and I am both proud and mournful.

He said to all of us that day, “I would rather be different than like everyone else.”

And I knew exactly what he meant.

I just wanted HIM to be like ME for a little while longer.

Is that too much to ask?

IS GETTING ME A DAMN KLEENEX TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

Created by Heidi Woodard

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