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Dear son,

I wasn’t ready for this.

But you were.

I had it all planned out. I would enjoy the last few months of your toddlerhoodthat beautiful and wild in-between age between the baby and little boy phase. 

When I get hundreds of cuddles a day.

When you cover me with kisses randomly.

When you hold my thumb while watching a show together. 

I knew the toddler phase was coming to a close, and I was doing all the things getting you ready for this next season. 

Your clothes were getting smaller, dinosaurs and cars were your main passion, and you recently discovered space as your new frontier. 

Your fourth birthday would be the perfect time to walk into this new phase.

Then I would set up your new room, with the spaceship theme just like you had talked about. 

I would be ready then.

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But I wasn’t prepared for the Wednesday night you found the space bedspread tucked away in the closet waiting to be wrapped up for your birthday present in a few months’ time.

“Mama is this for me? I love it!” You pulled it out before I could even see what was happening. “I’m a spaceman!”

That one bedspread, filled with rockets and galaxies, was so much more than a present. 

It was a new chapter in your life, and little did I realize, it was a new chapter in mine too.

I had mentally prepared to say goodbye to my toddler then. But not tonight.

I wasn’t ready. 

But you were. 

You started removing your baby bear blue bedspreadthe one I bought for you when you had no ideas or personality of your own. When you had looked so little in that bed.

“I want it tonight. Please, mama, I love it so much. I’m a spaceman, I need it!” You had made up your mind. 

I quietly helped you un-make your bed, then re-make it with this new bedspread. 

Removing the cuddly bear blanket, the new bed was now covered in galaxies and spaceships and everything a little boy would love.

You were so excited.

Me, I was a little teary. 

I wasn’t ready for this. But you were.

It’s amazing how much difference a new bedspread can make. A new pair of shoes. A new backpack.

How these little moments represent a mark of time, of growing up, of independence of mind and spirit. This is the first time I can honestly say I get it. 

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When mothers talked about pressing pause on their kids’ lives, I couldn’t relate. I have loved every moment of independence you have gained.

Until now. 

Now, I feel both the pain of losing my toddler and the joy of seeing a little boy emerge before my eyes.

As your mother, I promised to never stand in your way. Even if I want to hold on for a little while longer.

I’ll release you at every stage when you are ready. But don’t mind me if I shed a tear or two when I’m letting go.

Love,
Your proud mama

Rachel Reva

Rachel Reva is a global media strategist, coach, writer and founder of ‘Life On Her Terms’. She lives in Australia with her husband and son. 

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