It’s hard to imagine one day you’re not going to want to be carried by me.
It’s hard to imagine one day you won’t want to snuggle, you won’t want to be kissed countless times.
It’s hard to accept that one day when you’re taller than me and I hold you close, my arms may not fit comfortably around you.
It’s hard for me to accept that soon enough you will have a life of your own, a life you may not want me fully involved in.
It’s very hard for me to accept you will no longer need me on a daily basis.
You won’t need me to tie your shoes, nor match your clothes, nor comb your hair, nor pack your lunch.
It’s hard for me to accept the reality that is life—we’re in a race and no one wants to make it to the finish line. A race no one wants to win.
It’s hard for me to accept you will not always be with me, you will not always be part of my day.
It’s hard for me to accept I will not always be the one waking you up. I will not always be the one seeing you off at the door.
It’s so very hard for me to accept that while I’m in the trenches with you now, I will not be your focal point for much longer.
It’s so very hard for me to accept that one day you will outgrow me.
It’s so very hard for me to imagine a life when I don’t wake up an hour before you to prepare your lunch, when I don’t schedule my appointments around you.
It’s hard for me to imagine just what my life will be without you. Who will I be?
The day you were born I wasn’t myself anymore. I didn’t live for myself. I was reborn for you, to revolve around you. And now I sit and think that one day I may have that again, and I can’t imagine what I will do. I can’t imagine wanting to be anything else, anything other than your mother.
I can’t imagine being satisfied with a job or a hobby. I can’t imagine being fulfilled with anything other than your presence and the voices of you and your siblings around me. I simply cannot fathom this truth. I can’t, or rather I don’t want to.
What kind of life will I have if it’s not revolving around you? Where can I tap out? Where can I press pause? I sit here and think about scenario after scenario, and I come up empty-handed. In no way does this end like a fairy tale. In no scenario, no “normal” scenario, will you remain mine until the end of time. In no scenario does this end without tears, happy or sad.
I find myself longing for your giggles years after your voice has gotten too deep. I find myself yearning for the sight of your shoes piled up near the entryway. And at the end of it all, I’m sitting in an empty house with only the echoes of your voices dwelling in its walls, with only memories of your shadows as you lean on the kitchen counters.
At the end of it all, I’m left with memories. At the end of this chaos, when you’ve decided it’s time for you to grow on your own, I have one last wish for you. I pray with my whole heart and all my being, I pray with every bone in my body, that you truly know I am here.
As long as my heart beats, it’s beating for you.
As long as I’m breathing, every last breath is for you.
As long as I’m on this earth, my whole existence is simply for you.
My love for you will stretch as long as the miles that may be between us. My love for you will fill the lonely gaps between the phone calls. My love for you will forever shine on my gloomy days without you. When you become big, my little one, my love will never fade.
Previously published on the author’s blog