I don’t know when it happened.

I don’t know when the baby boy who struggled to roll over started running.

But it hit me this morning as you were trying to avoid a much-needed diaper change, that you were running.

Instead of chasing after you, I found myself stopped in my tracks.

Since when have you been able to run? I asked myself.

You looked back at me, probably upset that I ruined the fun. And it was then I realized a little boy was looking back at me . . . not my baby.

I don’t know when it happened.

I don’t know when the baby boy who once only devoured food with his hands started using silverware like a pro.

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I know we’ve been working on it, but it wasn’t a fight this morning. You’ve always wanted to do everything on your own. And today, you did.

Look at him go, I thought to myself, with tears in my eyes.

You scooped your oatmeal effortlessly, looked over at me, and gave me a smile beaming with pride. There was that little boy again . . . not my baby.

I don’t know when it happened.

I don’t know when you got tall enough to reach all of the doorknobs in the house, but I think a new round of childproofing is in order.

I don’t know when you learned how to do your entire number puzzle by yourself, but you can.

I don’t know when you gained enough strength to carry your own lunchbox to the car as you head to daycare, but that’s now part of your morning routine.

I don’t know when you learned how to get up in your rocking chair without my help, but now you tell me to watch you.

You are now my little boy. But you’re also still my baby.

I see it on your face when you’re sleeping. It’s still the same sweet face that once only laid on my chest.

I see it in your eyes when you hold up your arms and say, “Up, Mama.” They’re still the same eyes I looked into the day you were born.

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I see it in your smile. There may be more teeth now, but it’s still the same smile that made me cry when I saw it for the first time.

My little boy, you surprise me every day with how much you change. I am often in awe of you, and often in awe that I get to be your mommy.

But no matter how tall you grow, how strong you get, how smart you become. No matter if you’re a big boy, a teenager, a man, or a father. You, my little boy, will always be my baby.

Christina Egbert

I am "Mama" to a beautiful little boy who is always running around the house . . . while I try not to be too far behind (mentally and physically).  My husband and I met when we were in middle school together; he asked me on our first date nine years later. As someone who works in marketing for higher education, I know the importance of a person's story. I hope that you enjoy mine.