The other day I read a piece of homework that Cody did and it kind of broke my heart a little. It was a write up on a book they were reading in school, and the main character, Rachel, was shy. It asked how he could relate to her. He wrote. “Sometime I don’t like when my mom wants me to be a baby again, but I don’t know how to tell her without hurting her feelings.” Knife. Chest.
I had to sit him and down and explain that I don’t want him to be a baby again. Not even a little bit (okay a little). After speaking with him I got thinking of why I feel so sad for the loss of his infant stage, and every other stage, how that carries over to our relationship and what I can do about it.
There is that old poem: The Last Time (most parents have read it and cried), if you haven’t…enjoy. (and I am sorry)
So – instead of reading that and enjoying each moment (which I do), I being who I am, mourn the loss like a physical thing. Every. Single. Time. It may not be huge, it might just be a passing, “Aw this might be the last time I cut the crust off a Peanut Butter Sandwich” or bigger. “OH MY GOD THIS MIGHT BE THE LAST TIME I READ TO HIM!” It is always there though. Obviously, he has noticed and feels bad about growing up. I had to explain to him that I LOVE him growing up. I LOVE all that he is becoming and all that he will be.
Some of the things I have enjoyed doing with him as he has grown.
I enjoyed his first steps.
I enjoyed him using the potty.
I enjoyed hearing his first words.
I enjoyed watching him on his bike when he no longer needed me to guide him.
I enjoyed him learning to read.
I enjoyed watching him make friends.
I have enjoyed watching him grow taller.
I enjoy watching him come to know who he is.
I enjoy his kindness, his sense of humor, his uniqueness.
I enjoy being able to hang out with him.
I enjoy his independence.
Yes I do daily mourn each moment at the same time, because some day will be the last day. However, instead of doing that, instead of wishing for one more moment, I am going to live in this one. I am not going to worry about some distant future where he goes off to college – I am going to enjoy fourth grade. (maybe not the homework part)
I am going to enjoy amusement parks and petting zoos. I am going to enjoy his choice in music and games. I am not going to wish to hold a little one in my arms anymore, or stress about the empty nest, but instead, be so ever thankful that I have a healthy, happy, well adjusted, funny, kind, spunky, handsome and wonderfully unique kid.