In the beginning you hold on to me for everything. You need me, and you may not know it but I need you, too. There are days that drag on and nights that seem to be endless. There are moments that I simultaneously long to be close to you and to have a moment to myself. We’re holding on to each other. I’m the one who’s keeping you going and you don’t know it, but you’re doing the same for me.
One day, I’ll have to let go.
Soon enough you begin to loosen your grip on me. You’re exploring and learning and testing the limits of the world around you. You don’t cry for me as much. You’re problem solving and entertaining yourself more. You’re confident now that even if you walk away, I’ll be right here. The days are still long, but now they’re filled with you distancing yourself a little more bit by bit. The nights are now too short; that’s when you come back and hold on as tight as ever, just to wake up in the morning and do it all over again.
I’m trying so hard to hold on, but one day, I’ll have to let go.
All too quickly, you’re begging for more freedom. You don’t always want to hold my hand. You don’t always want my help. You pretend to pack a bag and go to “work” and as you say “bye bye, Mommy” I am so proud of you, but so unprepared at the same time. Right now, you still come running back after a short while; you bring your problems to me if you can’t solve them, and you still reach for my hand most of the time. Right now it’s just pretend.
One day, it will be real. One day, I’ll have to let go.
One day, you won’t need Mama to help you get a snack. You won’t want to fall asleep snuggled in to the crook of my arm. When you get hurt, you’ll brush yourself off and move on instead of looking to me to fix it.
One day, I’ll go from “Mommy” to “Mom”.
One day, being seen anywhere near me in public will be mortifying to you.
One day, I’ll watch as the person you choose to spend the rest of your life with comes down the aisle to you.
One day, I’ll see the light in your eyes when it finally clicks while you hold your brand new baby; you’ll suddenly understand why I have always insisted that I do, in fact, love you more.
Right now, I’m holding on as tight as I can. I’m soaking in every hug, kiss, and cuddle. I’m relishing your little boy laugh. I’m doing everything I can to slow time with you.
Right now, I am nowhere near ready to send you out into the world. I don’t know if I ever will be. Right now I’m holding you close, but one day, I’ll have to let go.