Many of my friends, and other parents, told me that the day would come when my children would no longer talk to me, let alone want to "hang out" with me. And so, here I am at that point with my eldest son. Now, he rarely speaks to me unless it is to ask for clean laundry or five bucks. Just like that, basically what seemed like overnight, my emotionally demonstrative and communicative son who appeared to be forever entwined in my apron strings began to extricate himself from them. Now, he comes home, heads straight for his room, and slams his bedroom door, as much to keep him in as me out. Whew, as a parent experiencing this for the first time, it is hard not to take it all personally.

Space is essential for new creation to take shape One evening, after a long day of him saying "get out of my space," "I need space," "stop hounding me 'cuz I am spacing out," it hit me. It is all about the importance of space. Space is essential for new creation to take shape. Music needs space for the notes to hang and come together, only an empty canvas can allow for a new masterpiece, we need space between our words for them to make sense and for meaning to unfold, many times in life we need to start something from a clean slate and most of all, we are all stuck to this rotating sphere called earth which hangs in space.

I began to "get it". My son is creating space to put new boundaries, those that will be established around his autonomy, independence and free spirit. He realizes his need for space in order to further evolve into the adult he is becoming—a transformation that can not be made hanging in the shadows of his parents. He needs to step out and discover his own place in the sun.

Kabbalah explains the beginning of Creation by saying that G‑d pulled back "His" light in order to create the empty space in the universe for the formation of physical matter. Symbolically, my son is also pulling himself back from me and turning inward, exploring, questioning, wondering, defining and creating the space around him for his life to take shape. From this perspective, the space he is demanding for himself and imposing on our relationship is a good and healthy one.

I also need space to let go of the child he was The truth is that the space is important for me too. Foremost I need the space to count to ten in most of the small interactions that we do have these days. I am learning to breathe and create a silent space before I respond to him to maintain mastery over my thoughts and emotions (teenagers are challenging), but also to let him know that I have heard him and I am taking time to process what he has said. It is becoming clear to me that I also need space to let go of the child he was and to learn a new relationship with him as an adolescent and soon to be adult. Inevitably, I also need to ponder how I will recreate my own life as my children grow and move on.

There are days when I am grateful for the space between us, especially as he begins formulating ideas and values for himself that do not always align with mine. This parenting of adolescents thing is tricky and messy. That said, I am thinking that today I will be sure to create some space to write him a short note. I want to let him know that whenever he is ready to extend his boundaries and share his space with me again, I will still be right here for him with space in my arms and my heart.