Standing in the low light of his room, I pause for a moment. Studying the shadows that drape across his sweet little face. He looks so peaceful as he sleeps.

I feel my heart beat a little faster. My chest fills with warmth. Butterflies stir in my stomach, and love overflows from every pore. I swear my heart could literally explode. My only thought, “Wow! I am so in love with this little boy.”

I reach down and scooped Reindeer up off the floor. At seven, I’m not sure if he really needs Reindeer as much as I want him to still need Reindeer. Regardless, I tuck him gently into the covers beside my favorite boy. He’s growing up so fast.

Unable to move, I stand there and take it all in. Overwhelmed by my love for him, I just want to squeeze him! I hear myself say, “I never thought it was possible to love someone so much.”

My thoughts begin to wander. I try to imagine the type of person he will fall in love with someday. What their relationship will be like. Immediately I hear, “There’s no way that person could ever love you as much as I do!”

It’s in this moment that I realize somewhere deep inside of me there is a Monster-in-Law awakening. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised. Immediately I promise myself I won’t be one of those mothers that never thinks anyone is good enough for their son. Or at least if I do, I will hide it deep down inside me somewhere. I will vow now to love whoever he chooses to love. The most important thing is always his happiness in life.

Then I realize how crazy I sound. Love really makes us crazy!

Before I became a Mom, I had no concept of how my life would change. The depth in which I could feel love, and the intensity of the attachment that would develop between us. I think back to the day the doctor told me it was a boy. I regret the brief moment of disappointment that crossed my mind even though I had said all I wanted was a healthy baby. I just had no idea what I was going to do with a boy. Those feelings quickly faded into excitement. A new adventure that would rock me to my core.

Almost eight years later, I am in awe of how much he has taught me about life. There is just something so special about a mother/son bond. So pure, unconditional, and beautifully sweet. I often wonder how I got so lucky? This little boy made me a Mom. His mere existence made me complete.

Emily Graham

Emily Graham is a bereaved parent, writer, and Grief Coach. When her 7-year-old son died unexpectedly on Christmas in 2015, she felt her life spiral out of control. She began sharing her grief story on her blog Just Playing House, which became a cathartic outlet that created connection. From there she launched After Child Loss. Now, Emily empowers other bereaved parents with the tools and support they need to take the next step forward.