See this kid? The one with the chubby cheeks dressed as Aladdin? We went together to see the new live-action version in the theatre the other day. He didn’t wear his costume though, because, you see, this boy is 17 now.
When my son was little, Aladdin was his absolute favorite. My talented mother-in-law sewed him a costume, complete with a little red hat, and he wore it EVERYWHERE, dragging his magic carpet and Abu behind him.
Every car ride he would beg me to play “One Jump” over and over, so he could practice the rapidly paced words. He drove us all crazy with his incessant singing day and night…and I remember wishing for the Aladdin phase to pass, because that song was CONSTANTLY stuck in my head.
Be careful what you wish for.
Because it seems I blinked, and suddenly found myself watching a different version of Aladdin, with a different version of this boy. A boy who towers over me now. A boy with stubble on his formerly chubby cheeks. A boy with a deep voice, who is too self-conscious to ever sing out loud to me today.
And as we sat in the darkened theatre and “One Jump” came on, I snuck glances over at my son, leaving for college in just one short year, and struggled to hold back tears. I’m not sure how we got here, he and I, to this stage of life, so quickly.
And the same me that wished the Aladdin phase would pass, now wished that I could go back in time for even a single day, and hear that little voice singing to me again.
Parenting little kids is tough. I’m finding letting go of big kids is tougher.
So to the parents of young ones…give them an extra snuggle today. And to the parents struggling with the next chapter…just know you are not alone.
This boy of mine may not hold my hand any longer, but no matter how big he gets, he will always, always, hold my heart. ❤️