It seems like only a few short moments ago I held your tiny little body in my arms. How big you are now compared to those days.

As I stare down at your crib, I remember the memories we made today. Memories I want to freeze into my memory. I want to remember every giggle, every smile, and every moment of joy that passed between us.

I want to remember these moments because today is almost over and tomorrow you will be one day older and soon the memories will fade with the passing of time.

As I peer into your crib, I see into the future for a brief moment in time.

My little boy is all grown up. He is moving out of our house and entering a new phase of life: college. He is beginning a new journey and starting a new chapter of his life without me in it.

I can see myself bewildered asking “Where did the time go?” as I sit in his vacant room that used to be occupied by toy trains, trucks, and airplanes.

I am suddenly brought back to the present moment. This brief look at the future forces me to reflect upon the time we spent together today.

Will you remember how you were loved this day?

Will you remember how you held your hand in mine as you learned to walk bravely?

Will you remember how we played with your trucks on the floor as you enthusiastically shouted “vroom!”

Will you remember the book “Guess How Much I Love You” that I read to you as you smiled and ate your cheese and crackers for lunch?

Will you remember our walk outside in nature and the hydrangea you picked for me?

Will you remember how you ran into my arms and gave me a hug and a kiss?

As I stare into your crib see you wearing your Superman pajamas and I hear the soft lullabies playing from your music box. I want to hold on to you and to this day with a grip so firm that I don’t ever have to let go.

But sadly, I am forced to let go of today as dusk is soon upon us.

Letting go is so difficult. There is so much fear of losing you. Tomorrow you will be one day older, and one day closer to growing up and becoming an independent adult who no longer needs me. And you will let go of my hand and reach for your dreams.

Doubt begins to creep into my mind. Was I a good mama today? Did I savor every moment? Thoughts like “we should have created more arts and crafts together” and “I should have taken him to the park” burden me with an unshakable guilt.

I also worry about the future.

Am I providing you with the skills necessary to be successful in school?

Am I providing you with the skills necessary to deal with your emotions in a healthy way?

Am I making the most of the time I have with you while you are still mine?

I try to let go and surrender all to God. I whisper a quiet prayer as I put my hand on top of the crib to pray over you. I ask the Lord to help me surrender all of these concerns to Him. I also ask Him to help me be the best mama possible for my sweet little boy.

Motherhood is a spectrum of emotions: love and fear and every feeling in between. I try to be fully present for all of them, no matter how difficult it is, because this is motherhood and I don’t want to miss out on a second of it.

I stare into the crib, take a deep breath, and hold onto this moment, because, after all, it is all we ever have.

Monica Braun

Monica Braun has a bachelor's degree in English from Michigan State University and a master's in education from Aquinas College. She teaches High School English in Racine, Wisconsin, and is an aspiring writer. She has one son (for right now) and is a follower of Jesus Christ.