The Tween-age Years

January 7, 2010

Nick in red 2-2 WM 2

It just hit me the other night that we have a birthday quickly approaching. In two weeks Nick will be 12 and I can hardly believe it. How is it that he has grown up right before my very eyes?

He is no longer that little boy permanantly attached to my hip. Each day I have constant reminders that those days are far gone. He is now morphing into an outgoing young man.

The past 6 months have brought a lot of change. First of all he has had a pretty good growth spurt and is now eye to eye with me.....when I am wearing heels:) In addition, I have seen a big difference in his independence with things like homework and studying. He is such a responsible and organized kid it blows me away.

We have also had a lot of discussions surrounding things like clothes, shoes, hairstyles, cell phones and music. He is definitely voicing his opinions and wants to start making these decisions himself.....~sigh~

For me, it has been kind of difficult to let go and give him a little space to make his own decisions and allow him to work on who he really wants to be.

It is extra hard in this day age because of all the things our children are exposed to on TV, the internet, and other types of media. Our kids look up to these young stars and want to be like them and emulate them in every way. You just have to hope and pray that you instilled the right morals and values so that they will make the right choices.

I don't know about you, but when I go to the mall or the movie theatre and look around, I am appalled at what I see. Girls that are Nick's age dressing in clothes that.....ahem....don't necessarily fit. You know what I mean.....very little is left to the imagination in some cases. And it is not just the girls.....the boys and their pants that are 6 sizes too large belted around their thighs with their underwear hanging out....OMG, some of them can't even walk correctly because if they do their drawers will be around their ankles. While I have given Nick a little "space" to make his own decisions about his appearance, that is one look I absolutely forbid and he knows it.

After two years of saying no to a cell phone, Pat and I finally caved and let Nick get one in August. He saved up his money to buy the phone and we added him to our family plan. I know there are plenty of kids out there that are much younger with cell phones for a variety of reasons, but we were not ready to hand one over so fast. He has proven to be very responsible with it and I have to admit, with the back and forth from our house and his Dad's, it is nice to just call him on his cell phone when we would like to talk to him.

Nick in Red 1-2  WM

So, that is my little update on Nick and a glimpse into the "tweenage years" for those of you who haven't experienced them yet.

It is hard to sit back and let them grow up and find their way, but you have to let go at some point. I will just be standing by with a safety net in hand ready to rescue and assist when needed.

Even though his looks, words, and actions are telling me he is turning into a young man, I still look into his eyes and see my little boy. I think I always will.......


Mimi said...

Oh LIsa, what a beautiful, loving post!
I've experienced these years with my girls (almost 18 and almost 17!) and now with my 13.5 year old boy.
Sounds to me like you've got the perfect balance, and it is a balancing act! Or sometimes I think of it in terms of fishing- you give some slack, then you have to reel in, then more slack.
I like your words "allow him to work on who he really wants to be"
cos that's it- it is their life and their journey, but we travel it with them, some times in front, often behind, picking up the pieces!
Your Nick is a fine boy, and he will be a fine man, because he has fine parents.

Love Letters To China said...

My daughter just turned 7 and I think of these days in the future and shutter. She is already showing signs of that sassy little tweenage girl to come. I'm so frightened I might not teach her right from wrong. Each day I pray she learns how to be a responsible person and is able to make good choices in life. I just want to stop the clock right now from turning and hold on tight to the small child within. I realize this is not possible, but a momma could hope!

I have to ask you a question about your photos, which I must say are breathtaking. What type of lens do you use? My husband bought me a new one for xmas, but I'm not sure it's the right one for me. Thanks!

duchess said...

I'm right there with ya sister. My son, Brayden turned 12 in November and among the gifts was a cell phone as well. They grow up so quickly and so far I'm very proud of the young man he's becoming - I hope that continues. Happy early birthday to your tween.

jenbusymom said...

I couldn't agree more Lisa! Kids are just growing too fast these days. Caitlin is only six and wants a cell phone, we told her not till she's sixteen! But who knows, the time may end up coming sooner as is your case. I think you guys are doing a wonderful job with Nick and it's no wonder he's turning into such a nice young man!

These Are The Days said...


You're right on the money with your observation of today's tweens. Your son's so handsome...sounds like you're raising hime right. It's so hard not to worry. My Jax will be 12 this September and I cannot believe it. He's pretty small for his age, so I think it makes it even harder...or at least seems more crazy to me. :) Great post.

jennifer said...

Isn't it amazing? My oldest is 13. His voice is changing and that is SO wierd! It is definitely a scary time. Nick is so handsome. What a blessing.

Love the black and white!

Jodee said...

I can't believe Nick is going to be 12! Time flies! He is such a handsome guy and you have done a great job raising him! You must be one proud mama!

Sharon said...

Oh yes, sounds familiar. Gene turned 12 last month. He has a cell phone for that exact reason.... so that we can stay in touch with each other when he is at his dad's. He loves texting me!

Jboo said...

Nick is such a handsome young man and really sounds like he has a good head on his shoulders. The tween/teen years can be challenging to be sure!

Love your new blog look!

Stay warm!


Missy said...

Awww, Lisa this is THE sweetest post! I can relate in so many ways. It is so depressing that our babies are growing up right in front of our eyes. You should be so very proud of the fine young man Nick is and will continue to be. He is so handsome! Love the pics and his eyes! I also love your new blog look! It looks like Paige's bedroom :) Black and white polka dots are our FAV! :) xoxo

Gail said...

Beautiful post Lisa, written with so much love. Yes...he will ALWAYS be your little boy, you know I speak from experience saying that. The tween years can be challenging but also lots of fun! Totally agree about the inappropriate clothes that other kids wear, don't know what is up with drives me crazy!

LOVE your blog! ;)


Sherri said...

The blog looks so pretty!

Mark is 12 too and sometimes thinks he is 22. He tries to get away with more but usually caves when I tell him he can do whatever it is he wants to do, but I'd rather he didn't! Because I know that works I do it a lot :) He also just got a cell phone because he's spending more time away from the house. He knows if he abuses it he will lose it. So far so good! It's peace of mind for me actually.

Nick is growing up to be so handsome. He's going to be a heartbreaker :)

Briana's Mom said...

Love the new look of your blog!

You are so right - I see young girls dressed in the most revealing things. I will never let Bri do that!!!

I hope I can handle the tween-age years. I am still trying to survive raising a three year old!

Patricia said...

Lisa, Nick is one very lucky young man to have you as his momma!! This is a beautiful, loving & wise post!

(And I couldn't agree with you more on all of your points!!)

I am sooooo dreading the tween/teen a middle school teacher, I've seen so much & it ain't pretty...I just keep praying & hopefully the morals & values are sinking in somehow! ;)

Marla said...

Awwww, this is a great post girl. You know why he's so outgoing, organized and responsible, right? Because of the example he gets from you. The apple hasn't fallen far from the tree, my friend. :)

Love these pictures of him, he definitely is looking awfully grown up these days. But yes, he'll always be your little boy, even when you're looking up at him.

Tutus and Choo-Choos said...

What a caring post by a loving mother. Our children learn from our example. I know that I am approaching the tween years rapidly because my oldest is 9 years old. Good luck and I will need advice on these years soon.

Christy said...

Right there with you on the tween thing. Ethan is 11 and in the 6th grade and he now cares about things that never mattered before- like his hair and clothes and actually cares about how he smells-- thank the LORD!!!! It is a freaky time for me as this is my first venture into the tween years but hopefully he will stay a cool kid and still want a big hug from mommy here and there. One more thing about these years-- girls! Holy cow!! They seem to like my boy and everyday he comes home with a new girl that likes him and he has friends that actually have girlfriends (in name only- they dont do anything). Anyway, fun times we are entering into-- a little freaky but none the less, our boys are growing up--wow!!!!

3 Peanuts said...

Nick is so handsome and he seems like a very nice young man. I am right here with you, Lisa. Will turned 12 last summer and he was THE LAST of his friends to get a cell phone.. We just got it for him a month ago. We told him that he needed two report cards in middle school on the honor roll. He did it and we got the phone but out limits on texting and calls. It is hard and nice watching them grow up into who/what we have taught them to be. I know our kids will stumble but so far so good.

A few months ago I saw girls checking Will out right in front of weird!

Lisa said...

It goes so fast doesn't it?! You are such a great mom and so on top of things, I'm so impressed! He is such a handsome tweenager! : )

Love the new look of your blog!

Aspiemom said...

I can't believe he's going to be twelve! They are growing so fast.

Ryan is 15 and still begging for a cell phone. Now that he's started a volunteer job it would really be nice for him to have one, but right now we can't afford to add him to the plan.

Wanda said...

Oh Lisa, I'm not there yet but I can only imagine. Your post is loaded with pride and love and caution and everything a mother should feel for her child with eyes turned outward ready to grasp every possibility. Wonderful and scary at the same time.

It sounds like you reached a happy medium with raising Nick. There is such serenity in his eyes - such a sweet soul.

I love your new blog design (can't go wrong with blk and white for me). And your pictures are stunning! But what grabbed my heart as I opened your site was the addition of ...."we're almost there!". What wonderful words to finally be able to say. May "it" come quickly, my friend.


Michelle R Photography said...

I feel like I've said this a million times, but I just think he is so handsome. Such a good-looking kid who looks like he has a good head on his shoulders, thanks in large part to YOU!!! I fast-forwarded to this "Tween" phase and I am SO not ready for it!! Trust me, Miss K will not be strutting her stuff at the mall wearing barely nothing. ha ha. And somehow, I just can't picture Nick with his britches down to his knees. OK, now I sound VERY old. I just said britches. lol

Kim said...

I know oh tooo well about the tween years.. been there done that 3 was hard on me for each one.. they are all 3 different and I wish in some sense I could keep them at the age I would like.. but then it is great to see how they have grown and become such AMAZING Tweens...
Hugs girly.
Have a great week..

Shari said...

This one brought tears to my eyes. I signed up for Kindergarten round-up on Monday and I know 12 isn't too far away:( Why does it go so fast?

a Tonggu Momma said...

It goes too fast... although I had to laugh at your comment about him being as tall as you - glad you added the "in heels" part. That makes it a tad more respectable. Heh.

Carolin said...

Oh my, what a post I can relate too. Our son will turn 12 on the 21st and I'm just not ready for this. Like your son, I've seen the changes and noticing the emotional changes in him as well. We're like you on the cell phone and may end up giving in too after his birthday.

thanks for sharing such a wonderful post!

Donna said...

Could your kids be any more beautiful? Seriously!

It's so true that he'll always be your little boy. I look at my son (a man of 21!) and still remember when he was frightened about alligators under his bed. Seems like yesterday.

Our Blog: Double Happiness!

JMCS said...

What a handsome young man your Nick is and I hope he has a happy 12th birthday in two weeks. It's unbelieveable how fast they grow isn't it? These are wonderful images you captured of him Lisa. I also really love your new blog design. Take care. :)


Lucy said...

Oh man, this one brought tears to my eyes! I'm imagining my baby boy 12 and how fast it will happen, yikes! Your Nick sure is a handsome boy and one your are obviously very proud of, happy 12 to him and you! :)

Kim said...

Love, love the new look! Nick sounds like a great kid he is lucky to have such loving and caring parents. Though I hate to think of it Mason will be there before we know it!

Chasing Dreams Photography said...

wonderful post : ) It is hard to let go...Nick will be just fine. I never had issues with clothes with the boys...lucky for me they like clothes and they fabulous taste (maybe that's not so lucky). I look around me all the time and can't believe my eyes...Chris did dye his hair blue once when his band played at a school function..I was fine with it. He thought it was temporary dye...turned out it wasn't and he had to go to homecoming with blue hair ROTFL I thought it was funny. The best advice I can give to you is...let him make decisions, be there to gently guide (with out him knowing what you are really doing) and keep the lines of communication open...which means you have to be prepared to hear some things that you will not agree's hard.
Talk to you tomorrow : )

Sue said...

What a wonderful young man you have. It just seems so old doesn't it? The thoght of Alexa at 12 just makes me shudder. She will be a firecracker for sure! Just her turning 5 next month has me feeling the years slipping by! ; )


Kayce said...

Nick is such a handsome young man. The tweenage years are such a learning experience for everyone and helps us moms to prepare for the next step into full blown teenager life. Enjoy it. Enjoy him. And enjoy watching him's wonderful!

Liene said...

Nick is a very handsome young man and I think he looks older than almost 12. I would've guessed 14.

I can only imagine what it's going to be like in 6 yrs when my oldest is Nick's age. Like you, I just can't stand to see what many kids these days are wearing. I'm still appalled that Katie Holmes & Tom Cruise allow their almost 4 yr old daughter to wear heels. Hello?? In a lot of cases, kids just don't look like kids. They're little adults and they're not supposed to be.

You are doing a wonderful job.

Terri said...

Oh, how fast they grow up & where does the time go. Such a sweet post & he is so handsome.

I am looking forward to following your blog this year because you will be making that journey to China!!! I can't wait!!!!

Take care & Happy New Year to you & your family!

Ivy Shaffer said...

What an incredible post Lisa! Nick is an amazing young man...can't believe either that he has grown so much this year! I know one thing, he's has a heart of gold and seems very grounded for a tweenager!

Kira is sitting here staring at his picture:)) What a handsome guy...what a great big brother to Sarah too:))

Give him a smooch for me!

Ivy and Kira (remember she still has a crush on him)

Buzzings of a Queen Bee! said...

I haven't experienced the "tween" years but I have always been a little scared of them! Nick seems to be such a handsome and sweet guy. I am certain that your parenting will get him through those rough spots! :) I will be crossing my fingers for you!

Mei Mei s and Mayhem said...

He is such a handsome young man!!

I cant believe I will soon have 2 teenagers when my 12 year old turns 13 in a couple of months!!

Kam said...

Beautifully said, Lisa. Thanks so much for sharing. I must say {again!}, you are one mama who will have her hands full in a few years. He's the total package for some little teenage handsome and a heart of gold. You are blessed!

Hope you are having a happy and warm start to your new year!


De Lucchi Family Treasures said...

My Taylor is 12 too and I SO understand what you mean. He is also very hormonal at the moment - lots of testosterone around!! Alot of changes will be happening in his body over the next year - just wait for it, its so cute as it even takes them by surprise too!!
Love Jules

The Byrd's Nest said...

First of all Lisa...he is such a handsome young man. And I know what you mean about other girls. Here in Latin is even worse!

I remember these days with my two big kids but actually they are 22 and 26 years old now and I still have trouble letting is so hard because you love them so much and don't want them to suffer from bad decisions the way we had to. Praying for both of you to continue to be good friends...because that is what makes all the difference. You are doing a fabulous job Mom!

Unspoken said...

My boys are men, but I see the little boys they were. Nick is so stunning!

Terri said...

Great post!

Nick is so handsome, someday you will have to beat the girls away with a stick..LOL


Belinda said...

This post made me cry.. I dont want my Edward to grow up!

Unknown said...

I cried too. My Kaish turned ten last week. Today is his party. I am trying to think of games we can play. And now I am weeping.