I think I’ll stay a little longer.

I have so much yet to do before bed, but you asked me for stories and to lay with you. We snuggled, we laughed, you finally fell asleep. Your perfect little face is peaceful and your little body is snug next to mine. I should get up, but I choose to stay here surrounded by dinosaurs, trucks, and trains. Here next to you in the quiet and the innocence of childhood.

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In 10 years, you are going to call me on Friday night after the football game and say, “Mom . . . I’m out with friends. I think I’ll stay a little longer?” And I will say yes because I know you are a good kid and having fun with your friends, just like I used to do.

I’ll hang up the phone and worry but say a prayer and, of course, wait up until I see the headlights pull in the driveway. Only then will I finally go to sleep.

In five more years you will call me from college. “Mom, I really like it here. I found a good job, and I think I’ll stay a little longer.” Dad and I will fuss in excitement and shower you with praise. That’s our son! Of course you got your dream job! I will again hang up the phone and smile, but I’ll feel that sting in my heart. But I also moved away from home. Over 1500 miles for a new adventure. So far be it from me to wish you back. But, oh, how I will miss you.

All I ask is when I am old and my hair shines with streaks of gray . . . when I can’t walk so well without help . . . when I have fumbling hands and a scratchy voice, you will come visit your father and me and bring the grandchildren.

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They will look like you and have your smile, and I’ll accidentally call them by your name. You will sit and hold my hand and patiently look me in the eye while I tell stories, and I’m sure repeat myself. And I will know I’m rambling and apologize. I will smile and say, “I’m sure you have to go.”

And you will look at me with those beautiful brown eyes and squeeze my hand and say, “No, Mom, I think I’ll stay a little longer.”

And my eyes will tear up, but I’ll look away so you don’t see how emotional I am.

These words will ring in my ears like music, and I’ll immediately be back in your bed. Nestled in your monster truck comforter, watching your projector of rainbow stars spinning, and whispering silly stories about a sweet boy and his wild adventures. And I’ll be so glad I stayed a little longer. 

Originally published on Facebook

Emily Finke

Emily is married to a New Yorker dreamboat and is a mom of 3 boys (2 human, 1 fur) living the Florida life. She grew up in mid Michigan and will always be a Michigander at heart.