Just give me a minute. I need to catch my breath. It’s all happening too fast. You were just a baby, snuggled in my arms. You couldn’t fall asleep unless you were laying on my heart . . . the one you took over the day you were born. We were inseparable, you and me.
And now it’s all so different.
There’s a stranger in my house now, and he towers over me.
His voice is deeper, his legs are longer, and the boy that once bounced into my arms immediately when he came home, breezes by them to get to his new first love, the refrigerator.
And now it’s all so different.
Just give me a minute. I need to digest this new child, this new territory. I feel like I’m always behind, fighting to keep up, fighting to understand.
What are the parameters? What are the respectable boundaries? What is the balance between too much and not enough space? I don’t want to do it wrong and I don’t know the rules. Because you and me? I don’t want any space between us. It feels unnatural. You are my baby boy.
Just give me a minute to accept this new normal, this new life of ours.
I’m still trying to understand why when I look at you I flashback to the toothless grin that stole my heart almost 13 years ago. Why does your growing older evoke this nostalgia, this sweet sadness? The kid who makes my heart swell.
My emotions of happy and proud and sad combat each other so much that some days it feels like a tornado inside me. A whirlwind. Loving this new you, this smart and thoughtful and funny person that drives me crazy, but who I enjoy to no end. I’m such a fan. Spending time with you is something I treasure. I have to sneak it, steal it. Between school and practices and friends, time is not on my side. I find myself taking what I can get. You don’t realize it, but no mom likes driving 16 places a day, kid. But we do it to get time. We have no shame. I’m bartering and you don’t even know it.
I didn’t imagine this time, where now it’s all so different.
And I’m afraid of losing you. (There, I said it.)
It’s irrational, but it’s this mom’s truth.
When I became a mom, no one told me I’d have to raise you, only to let you go. OK, maybe they did, but I didn’t believe them. Because you and me? We were bound for life. It wasn’t going to happen to us. Those before us, those poor souls, the unlucky ones—they didn’t know our story. They didn’t know how I hoped and wished and prayed for you, and how you almost weren’t. And then you were. We were determined, you and me. They couldn’t know our bond.
Except they do. They all do . . . and the mother that’s rocking her baby in the middle of the night trying to remember the last time she slept more than three hours straight will also not think this moment will ever come.
And now it’s here for me.
Where I find myself loving you enough to let go, knowing the time is here for you to explore and figure yourself and this world out, find your own way. Letting you fail, watching you get hurt. It’s harder than I ever could have imagined. I’m struggling a bit. Because it’s all so different now.
So if I hug you too often, or squeeze you too tight, for too long, do your mom a favor.
Just give me a minute.