Time is this crazy thing, isn’t it? It does crazy things. It shows us crazy things. It also gives us so many wonderful things. It gave me a moment to spend with you. I wish it would give me more because I’m not ready.
I’m not ready for this phase to end. I want you here, in my arms, forever. And although at times, it’s overwhelming, and at times you drive me absolutely crazy, there is nowhere I want to be more than by your side. Then to walk this journey together.
I wasn’t prepared for the first time you told me you didn’t want to play, that you want to be by yourself instead. We have always played together, sung the most wonderful duets, and danced in the lounge in the craziest costumes.
I don’t know how many times I have read you the same story, over and over, just to make you smile.
I wasn’t ready to put that book down, for good. But I had to.
I don’t know how many times we have filled this house with the most cheerful, contagious laughter. I don’t know how many tantrums have been held within these walls, and I don’t know how long it takes to get you in bed at night time.
But I do know I’m not ready for it to end.
Today you told me you didn’t want me to play at the park, that you wanted friends your age, that it was “boring.”
I wasn’t ready to hear that, but I did.
Do you remember when the first thing you ran to was the swing, and you would ask me to push you high as it would possibly allow? I do.
I also remember when you would show me all your amazing new tricks on the monkey bars. How you would always go down head first on the slide. And how you knowingly knew I would always be there to catch you.
Do you remember playing for hours on end on the trampoline? How you would beg me to double bounce you, just so your little belly would fill with butterflies. Or the many hours we sat together and played make-believe games?
You may not remember, but that’s OK because I do.
I remember the way your little toes would curl while you slept and how you would always have to hold my big finger as tight as you could, just to take a nap.
I remember the smile on your face when you would wake up and see me there, just waiting for you to open your little eyes.
I wasn’t ready for the last time I would ever rock you to sleep, with your little body fitting so perfectly in my arms, drifting as I hummed your favorite lullabies.
In fact, the crazy thing is, we never know when that last time will be.
Just the other day I was helping you get dressed, sifting through your clothes until we found the perfect outfit. Yesterday, you told me you didn’t want my help anymore, that you could do it by yourself. I definitely wasn’t ready for that.
It could be tomorrow, it could be in a week, or even in a year’s time that you no longer need me at all.
I know you are mine for a moment, not forever.
I’m not OK with that, but I have to be.
For now, I can try to stop hovering over you, making sure you don’t hurt yourself. I can try to stand on the sidelines while I watch you play with your friends. I will leave the dolls out for you and watch as you make your own games, instead of always relying on me to create them for you—for us.
I will still make play dough upon request and wait for an invitation to play rather than just chime on in. I will allow you to try new things—things that challenge every bit of my anxiety. And I will try to understand when you no longer want me there at all.
I will be here, just not in the ways I was before. The ways that I am now.
Because when I look at you growing, I see that little face that relied on me so much, that loved nothing more than to shower me with unconditional love and attention.
You may not remember those days, my darling, but those moments, although small, they make my whole world turn.
They are moments that I could never in my darkest days forget.
This phase of motherhood . . . it’s something so beautiful, so rewarding, and so heartwarming. I would tell you not to blink, mama, but the truth is, you already are.
Take in the cuddles, the endless stories, and constant requests to play. Run with it, for their adventure is yours.
And although it seems like it never ends, it ends before you know it, or before you are even prepared for it. The days are long, but they are filled with such delight. The years, they are so much shorter than I ever imagined.
And although I know I still have time, I’m not ready for these rooms to hold nothing but beautiful memories and these walls to hold the most perfect photos.
I’m not ready for our moment in this chapter to end. But I know, one day I have to be.