To Benjamin, my 16-month-old son, I am everything. I am the first person that boy looks for when he wakes up in the morning and the last person he wants before he goes to bed. If he is in a room full of people he loves and I am not there, he will search for me. If he has a problem, mommy is the solution. I am the answer to his cries. I feel confident in saying that I am the most important person in that little boy’s little world. I love it. It is an honor and a privilege that I do not take lightly.
Having said all that, my dream for Benjamin is that someday he will love another woman more than he loves me.
There’s this common trope of the boy mom who dreads the day when another woman steals her son’s affections. It’s over-dramatized throughout the media, but while usually subtler, there’s no denying that it plays out in real life too. The idea that anyone will steal my son’s affections seems laughable in that they can’t take something that was never mine to begin with. The love my son will someday have for his spouse is nothing like the love he has for me. However, it’s likely that someday someone will take my place as the most important woman in his life, and that’s a crown I plan to gracefully abdicate.
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I pray that one day God will place someone in Benjamin’s life whom he will love more than anyone on earth. I pray that when that time comes, he will know it’s okay to “leave and cleave.” I want him to know it’s okay for her to become more important to him than any other person. In fact, he should know that it’s more than okay, that it’s just the way God designed it. I hope he’ll know that while I promise to do my best to never make him feel like he has to, he can and should adamantly choose her, defend her, and side with her.
By the time my son is ready to be a husband, I hope he will know exactly what it is to be treated with love, grace, and respect. I hope he’ll have learned what values and character he wants in a forever partner. I hope that I’ll have shown him what to look for in a wife, not with the intent that he should find someone just like his mom, but ideally, I’ll have modeled God’s love to him enough that he seeks a woman who does the same. I hope he’ll have an understanding of what it looks like to follow where the Lord is leading him and to lean on God’s guidance.
I hope the marriage of his father and I will be an example of the type of marriage he wants for himself.
Even so, should the most important woman in my son’s life not be whom I expected, should we not have a lot in common, or should she not be who I would have chosen for him, I will still want him to know that if she’s important to him, she’s important to me.
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I hope my future daughter-in-law never feels like she needs to compete with me for my son’s affection. I hope she will see that when it’s time for her to become the most important woman in my son’s life, I will not cling to a title that’s no longer mine, but will joyfully relinquish it. I hope she will know, as I have, what a precious gift it is.
It is one of the greatest joys of my life that I was given a little boy to love and cherish. I pray that he will one day know the joy of being given a family of his own to love and cherish.
So while there’s a part of me that would gladly keep all of my babies little and mine forever, it will be an even greater blessing to let him grow up. While I view it as a priceless gift that there is a little boy to whom I am everything right now, I pray that it won’t last forever. It is because I love him so much that I pray that one day he will love another woman more than me.