It’s been happening slowly, the transition from little boy to young man. I have been quietly watching as he straddles the line between wanting to play and wanting to work. For the past year I have noticed the subtle changes that tell me that my little boy is entering the land of puberty.

Most days he still wants to watch cartoons and play with action figures, but others he tells me he’s too old for those things. He wants to help fix things around the house. He wants to find ways to money. In short—he wants to be a man.

I knew this day was coming but it’s been a little rough on my mama’s heart. So this summer I’m learning to live in the in between and I’m finding new ways to connect with my growing boy.

the summer of in between

As my son has gotten older, one of my biggest concerns has been that I wouldn’t know how to connect with him. It’s easy to get down on the floor and play with blocks and put puzzles together. It’s easy to play with action figures, even though I usually get the names wrong and I don’t always know the rules.

Finding ways to spend time and bond with this young man-child has proven to be more of a
challenge, but I’m learning to listen and we are finding new ways to spend time as mom and son.

Connecting with books

My son loves to read and so do I, so one of our new favorite things to do is to talk about the book  he is reading. He has picked up some of my favorites from childhood like Charlotte’s Web and I love hearing about what he is learning and what he is passionate about and interested in.

Connecting through conversation

Some of my favorite moments lately have been times when I just sit and talk with my son. He is so smart and he has all of these big thoughts and big dreams. I’m so honored that he is choosing to share those with me. I pray  this is something that continues as he gets into his teen years.

Connecting through activities

We get outside and we get active as my son has gotten older. He wants to do more active things than just hang around the playground, so I get out there and kick the soccer ball, we spend hours at the pool, and I even sit at the basketball court and watch him shoot baskets.

Connecting through faith

But I think my favorite thing that we are doing to connect these days are our talks about faith and God. My son has such a heart for Jesus and for serving others. He talks about becoming a missionary. We talk about things that I have been studying and learning in my Bible time. He shares with me his questions and struggles about what he’s reading his Bible time. We are really growing closer to God together and I love that.

So those of you with boys in that in-between stage what are you doing to connect with them during this transition?

*affiliate links
Boyhood and Beyond by Bob Schultz
Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations by Alex Harris and Brett Harris
ESV Student Study Bible from CrossWay