I still have him… just for a little bit longer


My big boy turned 13 last week and this year he went off to high school. Things are changing around here. There’s been a noticeable shift in the dynamics of our house. The routine is different, his clothes are different, he wears the same size shoe as his Dad… actually everything just feels different around here. It’s similar to the shift I felt in the house when my baby finally went off to school. That was a new phase. Now having my eldest in high school it feels like we’ve entered another new phase.

I watched him walking amongst all the high school kids yesterday and I got a lump in my throat. He emerged from the school surrounded by kids who have jobs, facial hair, L-plates (!)… He was happy and confident, but it tugged at me because he’s becoming his own person. You know, like a big person who has friends I don’t know and conversations I’m not a part of? That’s not bad, just different.

Before I know it he will get a job and want to be with his girlfriend… He’s a bloody good kid though. One who makes me proud and laugh so hard.

For now, I just grab him when I can and sniff him. (Yes, I’m one of those mothers who sniff their kids.) You have to pick your moments though. Ha!

This past month I have suddenly become so aware of my household and what these changes mean. I still have 2 kids behind him who smooch me and brush my hair and let me lay in bed with them. It’s just that this big one seems so far in front of them suddenly. It feels like I am getting old.

Families are always changing aren’t they? How are the teenagers and pre-teens in your house (if you have them)? Do you feel like you’re on borrowed time with them?


  • Penny Barns

    Yep scarey . Gaby now is not at school
    And is working full time. Taking her self to DRAKE concert tonight in Brisbane.
    Apparently I’m the only parent of a 17year old that calls their child every hr Lol

  • Narelle Cooper

    This brought years to my eyes reading this.Next year I lose my baby to high school,they grow so fast and change dramatically when they start.Goodluck with it all Katrina.xx luv ya blog.

  • Kathryn Tourle McDonald

    My baby started school this year so I entered a different phase as well

  • Janine Snook

    It bought tears to my eyes too. Going thru the exact same thing with my eldest. He’s 2 shoe sizes bigger than his dad and not 13 till November!! I’m hearing you!!

  • Kathie Rytenskild

    My eldest was so ready for high school, that it went really smoothly – but when the 2nd one started this year (leaving my 2 littlies at primary school behind) it THREW me!!!! The dynamics are so different that i found myself completely shell-shocked for the first month! I have to be so much more ‘present’ to make sure I know whats going on, or it’ll zoom over my head & be gone.

  • Helen

    awww so hearing you !! I’m going through the same but just a few years ahead of that and again, its different … especially when he hugs me and my cheek leans on his chest (when did that happen??) I can’t kiss him even on my tippie toes …
    And yes I’m a sniffer too – can’t get enough of his smell !!! hehehe x

  • Debbie Vanoostveen

    Same here off he went a big change for us hes sisters all went to the high school over the hill but i sent this son to a brand new school with only year 7 and he has to take the train one more left in grade 6 but u can see the difference in them

  • Carolyn

    yep, Katrina, we are going through changing dynamics. My eldest just started uni, has P plates and all the independence that brings. He is such a gorgeous man – eek, how did it get to that! – and it brings me such joy to still be able to give him big hugs. Like you, he has Crohn’s and has had to manage his health carefully the last couple of years, so I feel so happy to see him stepping out into the world, socialising, studying the course that interests him. With my daughter only two years behind, all of a sudden I can see life where my presence is not needed so much – liberating and sad!

    • Katrina (author)

      That makes me very happy. I am so glad he is well with his Crohn’s. 🙂

  • Yvette Singleton-Bishop

    Yes, lovely written made me cry. My eldest daughter started high school too, I felt sick every day wondering if we picked the right school. One month in, yes we have for her. She is settled, confident & made some lovely friends. Very different place to my baby girl starting kindergarten this year too – I cannot believe how quickly time is flying – I’m not liking the home readers!

  • Kimberly

    This struck a chord with me. Sometimes I get so caught up in waiting until we are over this ‘stage’ and the next that I know I’m missing the now.. Mine are only little yet, 6, 4 & 1 but tonight I will give my 3 boys an extra kiss and cuddle whilst they sleep..
    How precious and small they are for such a short time!

    • Katrina (author)

      They sure are! Only feels like yesterday when they were all home with me and little. X

  • Kim

    You managed to bring me to tears as well Katrina. My only boy is now in Yr 11 & started the last stage of High School. He has a girlfriend & gets lifts with friends who have their P’s. All too soon he will be gone & I try not to feel too sad about him leaving but feel happy for the future awaiting him. He is a fine young man & he like you, has Crohns. In some ways getting Crohns at 13 has made him into the determined young man he is today. He still lets me kiss him & he will give me a hug now & then but my little boy is definitely gone!

  • Leanne Middleton

    My eldest is in year 4, I’m already feeling anxious about boarding school. You always hear ‘they grow up so quickly, make the most of it’ but when you’re rushing from place to place it doesn’t feel possible. If my boy leaves for boarding in year 7, then uni or job – that’s it?! It’s a good reminder to savour every special moment, love them every second.

  • Zita

    I don’t have any children but my oldest nephew starting High School this year and I got to take him in on the first day. He doesn’t seem big enough to be in High School and I loved the fact he still gave me an awkward side cuddle in front of his friends when I left!

  • somethinggorgeous

    It’s so scary, life keeps moving so quickly. This year is big for me, my son is in his 3rd year at uni in Sydney studying Aviation, he is so independent and mature that it’s hard to remember that he once was the little boy who cried every time he left my side. My daughter is in her final year at high school and is talking about moving to Sydney next year to go to uni, my heart breaks at the thought. As I said, life just keeps going by so quickly. Hold those little children of yours close. xT

  • Nikki

    This is so true. I always say that raising kids the days are long but the years are fast. My son is 15 and went off to boarding school this year. He is nearby and we see him regularly and talk every day, but it’s not the same. He is happy and having a great time but we miss his presence in our home terribly. He is so funny and loving and life is just not the same. I don’t know what I will do when my daughter heads off to boarding school next year. It will be a very quite old house. Someone once said to me when they were babies that they are only on loan you know. They will be gone before you know it. She was right.

  • Prue Porter

    All too fast l can still remember my big boys first day of school and he is now 25….his baby sister started school this year. I Have 6 kids spread over 20 years and they are all growing up too fast….l can say that the big kids 25,23,21,15 still need me at times but mostly on their terms, but that’s Ok, because l raised them to be independent people. I am so proud of all of them and remind my self often when l feel sad because l miss them, that l raised them to be beautiful human beings. You will be fine and life changes but remember you played the biggest role in modelling them into who they are. Love them squeeze them but soon they will squeeze you more.

  • KL

    This post has resonated with me so much katrina! Your eldest is the same age as my youngest…(13 in May, yr 7 this year) but any of my prior teen experience is null and void with a boy after two girls! Am experiencing a seismic shift too…..

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  • ann

    So funny,I’m a sniffer too.Thought i was the only one lol
    Yes my big boys 15 and changing so much,sad in a way..
    It happens so suddenly,especially when they reach high
    school..Love reading your blog,very inspiring…

  • Laura

    Oh Gosh, I sniff mine too (just did it whilst reading your post :)! Nice to know I am not alone. I love your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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