“I am your king, Mommy. Your boy king.”

Yes, my dear 3-year-old son, you are. You really, really are.

As we sat together in the living room chair listening to the sad cosmic video game music on the game your big brother was playing, you kissed my forehead, tears welled up in my eyes and I wondered what it would be like if I ever had to say goodbye to you.

The tragic losses of families and friends near us coupled with news headlines make me fearful and sad. What if the simple life as we know it right now were to change drastically? What if I ever got sick and wouldn’t get to watch you grow up or if for any other reason we would not get to live long, full lives next to eachother?

What would I say to you in one last conversation if I had the chance? What if we didn’t get to say goodbye? What would I want you to know?

If I’m the first to go, I hope that you would be able to put together all of the words I have ever written into one conclusion. That I tried. I really really tried. That you and your brothers’ very births pushed me to want to be the best possible version of myself.

I would want you to know that after every struggle or bad day I ever had, even on the days I cried behind a locked bathroom door, I got back up and kept going for you. That I tried to be the best possible example with the best intentions at heart though I was flawed. Because you were worth it and you deserved it.

And that despite how sick and tired as I ever was of refereeing fights over video game controllers, that you knew you were loved no matter what. That I could admit when I handled something poorly, or when I was wrong. And as much as I made it a point to hold you accountable, I was never above apologizing to you and I hope you would remember all of the times that I did.

That I tried to get it right. That I tried to care for you without over-coddling, which was not an easy balance.

That I coached you to bravely walk into your first day of school with your head held high as I broke down in the car on the way home. And I gave you the last bite of my favorite foods. And made you alternatives to the dinner I made because there were foods that I knew you wouldn’t eat.

And that one day I stopped to also think of myself after putting myself on the backburner for so long. And that it was healthy for you to see that some of my attention was focused elsewhere. And you got to see me win and cheer along with me.

I hope you will one day see why I chose to invest in a writing course over paying admission to yet another weekend kid event. And how I started to make you wait for those last things you requested after I had already sat down to eat dinner.

I hope you look back to cherish all of the long weeknights and weekends we spent together, and appreciate how it was better to be at home bored with mom, rather than rushing from place to place with an anxious, nail-biting mother. But I hope you also remember that time we dropped everything and went on an epic summer road trip for a few weeks to see The World’s Largest Fork and Big Brutus.

I hope you remember me splashing around with you at the pools and splash parks and know that having fun with you was far more important to me than the self-consciousness of wearing a bathing suit in public.

And since we almost have the same December birthday, know you have someone that will always understand that a last minute, side-table Chuck E. Cheese birthday party is not ideal, but still worth something.

And I hope you would know that on the days I was sick and tired of being climbed on all day and well into the evening hours, I loved you just the same.

And you will one day understand why I got so mom-motional as we sat in the chair listening to the video game music and you said “See mommy? This is your song. Your princess song,” and then kissed  my teary cheek.

I hope you would know that in that moment I was so absolutely grateful for your presence and sweet simple times, yet also scared of the power you possess over my tender mama’s heart. Much like your newborn cries, you have the power to move my heart in a thousand different directions in the span of a day.

You have grown me into the best possible version of myself. There were growing pains as I was shaped and molded in motherhood, but they were all for the better. I’m living my best life possible. So yes, my child you are my king. My boy king. A king of my heart.

Audra Rogers

Audra Rogers was a news photojournalist in her former life, but stopped to smell the roses by moving back to raise her family in the same small town where she grew up. You can read more about what Audra's up to on her blog RealHonestMom.com