Parenting a Nearly Pre-Teen

Canaan...you know, that sweet, chubby cheeked boy that has been cooking alongside me at the counter since he was in diapers? Yeah, that chubby cheeked diaper boy is growing up. Quickly.

Much too quickly than anyone ever told me. I know, I know...it goes by fast. Blink of an eye. Babies are driving cars and going to prom. It happens fast, so I was told. But not this fast. This is beyond lightening speed.



So here I am, a far too young (ah-hem) of a mom with this nearly pre-teen on my hands that has found the art of eye rolling, occasional snarky remarks and attitude.Yikes.

Its an interesting time of his (our) life. Watching a child waiver between childhood and teenage years. The struggle between innocence and reality. Their yearning to still wear cozy pajamas and want to curl up on the couch for a snuggle and sensing the desire to pull away and read in a corner for hours with headphones on, without interruption.



The other night he and I had a long heart-to-heart. There had been a string of bad attitude days and ,lets just say, it was time for Canaan to become a bit more self-aware. It ended up being a really great conversation.

Yet, I could sense myself as the parent of a now maturing person, feeling unsure of how to wade into this new relationship. We've read some great books on the topic of raising boys, but I've found over the course of these years of parenting, I would rather know my child deeply and navigate based on our particular relationship and their particular nuances, than follow the ABC's of another's journey or studies.

We take it all day by day. Some days I still get that sweet chubby cheeked boy standing at the kitchen counter cooking alongside me. And as great as those days were in his early years, they are even better now. Great conversation and discussion, laughs and fun.
Other days he needs his space and we try to give it.

Recently I've branched out to a new form of communication with this guy; email. He has an account through school, so a couple of weeks ago I began sending along a note and "Questions of the Day." This little practice has become a fun part in our daily relationship. As you will see below, Canaan is (and has always been) very serious and to the point. He knows what he knows (or at least thinks he does) which makes me chuckle all the more given the ridiculousness of the questions and his oversight on their ridiculousness.

Each day, he comes in from school and asks if I've read his response. Its a small thing, but its a open door to another way of building relationship with this little guy that's not so little anymore. I imagine, in time I can throw in a few more thoughtful, personal questions in there (us moms are sneaky like that) to stay close to the heart of my son and remind him of my love as we continue to head into these tricky teen years ahead.

Here's the recent email chain~ 



Mom:
Hi Canaan!
Thought I'd send you an email since you now have an email account. Getting all grown up and stuff :)

Questions of the day:

In the song Yankee Doodle, is he calling the horse or the feather "macaroni"?
Why do people say "heads up" when you should duck?

Canaan:
It is meant as a warning and they are talking about the feather.

Mom:
Hello Canaan~
I hope you are having a great day at school.

Here are your questions of the day:

When lightning strikes the ocean why don't all the fish die?
How old are you before it can be said you died of old age?

Canaan:
It spreads out and loses its power before it can reach the fish. You have to be 80+.

Mom:
Good Morning Canaan! Just went and helped out in Ezra's class. It was fun.
Hope you are having a good day!
I love you!

Questions of the day:

At a movie theater which arm rest is yours?
Is there a time limit on fortune cookie predictions?

Canaan:
The right one, and as soon as you read them it expires. 

Love,
Canaan


Mom:
Good Morning Canaan! I hope you have a great day at school today. I love you so much and am so proud of you....for just being sweet, lovable you :)

Questions of the day:

Why is it that on a phone or calculator the number five has a little dot on it?
How can something be "new" and "improved"? if it's new, what was it improving on?

Canaan:
For blind people. I couldn't figure out the second one.





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Lovely Kitchen Contributor~ Thanksgiving Style


Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

Thanksgiving, as you probably know if you are a longtime reader of this blog, is my favorite holiday. Each year I post my Thanksgiving Day Menu with loads of recipes that we make at the Smith Homestead (no...these pics are not at our quaint Smith Homestead...rather the gorgeous home in the next town over...more on that below.)

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

 
This week I joined the girls over at The Lovely Project as their new Lovely Kitchen contributor!

The Lovely Project is a non profit organization started by some of my good friends based in Orlando Florida, (where I used to live) that are passionate about working with girls and women so they'll know their Value, Voice and Valor. 

They publish a super-fun blog that is dedicated to sharing how to make all aspects of life, lovely.
 
Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography
Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

 

This week they share one of my Thanksgiving Menus, and are also offering a handy and cute FREE Thanksgiving Day Planner printable written by a Culinary Institute of America graduate and world class Food Photographer Susan Bourgoin.

Show them, (and me) some blog love by checking it out!....and just a few more gorgeous picks taken at last years Thanksgiving meal with friends at Moundale Manor in Winchester, Kentucky by my dearest friend and crazy-amazing photographer,Tina Carter of Vrai Photography. 

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography

Photos by Kristina Carter, Vrai Photography


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