It’s been almost 10 years since we first locked eyes. 

The thought nearly takes my breath away and the tears sting as they well up. 

How has it been that long since you first curled your chubby little fingers around mine?

It seems like it was just the other day I was rocking you soundly to sleep each night. 

Was it really that long ago when your scoots turned into crawls which tottled into steps which sped into sprints? 

I remember the moments you snuggled your little body up under my chin and our hearts would beat in rhythm together. 

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How could I forget that first time I dropped you off at preschool? I thought my heart would split wide open right then and there. 

The days are long gone when you picked me bouquets of wildflowers and dandelionswe made wish after wish as the little seeds flew. 

Sweet boy, every first with you has been bittersweet. You see, you were my first.

But those years, oh my, how they have flown

Everyone warned me it would happen this way. But I was sure there would be plenty of time. 

I thought you’d hold my hand forever, but then one day, you let go.  

I was sure you’d always come to me first, but as you grow, Dad seems to take first place. 

These days, they are hard on me. 

I want to cling to those moments, you know the ones, with your tiny little hands clasped together in prayer, we would bow our heads and your sweet little voice would whisper, “In Jesus’ name.” 

I want to hold on but I feel those moments slipping away. 

You’re growing and changingand of course, that’s all goodit’s how it’s supposed to be after all. 

But buddy, my heart can’t help but feel a little bit broken. 

As you’re wandering around in this crazy life, I hope you’ll always know I’m a safe spot to land. 

Even though right now, I can sense you wanting to spread your wings a bit and become your own person, I’ll always be here, you know me, your mom. 

I’ve loved you from the very beginning, and I promise I’ll never stop.

Though it hurts me to let you grow up, I know it’s just how God planned. 

It’s been almost 10 years since we first locked eyes. 

Our gaze doesn’t meet nearly as much these days and your hand doesn’t fit so perfectly in mine. 

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Just when I feel so sure you are past needing me or even wanting me for that matter, as I kiss you good night, you whisper, “Would you please stay just a little while longer?”

Sweet boy, I’ll stay as long as you’ll have me because I know the years will fly on past,  but please know, I’ll always be right here if and when you need me to stay just a little while longer.

Shandyn Paul

Shandyn Paul is blogger and Christian writer who lives in a small town in Ohio. She is married to her best friend and biggest supporter, David. Together they have two boys, who keep life busy and interesting. She started writing her blog, http://wwww.theanchoredmama.wordpress.com/ because of a calling she felt from God during a 2am feeding session with her youngest son in 2015. She took a leap of faith and has been writing ever since. Her hope is to encourage and inspire others through God's Word.