Thirteen years ago you made me a mom.
And now you’re taller than I am. How can this be?
I know I’ve told you before that you were an easy baby, that your Daddy and I thought we were the BEST of parents. It’s not until your little sister arrived almost three years later that we realized, NOPE—we just had a really easy kid the first time around.
But there are a few things I imagine I haven’t told you about when you were little, when it was just you and me during the long days while your dad was at work. I look at our life now, as a family of five, and the truth is: I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
But the truth ALSO is: there are days I would give anything to go back in time and live your babyhood over again just one more time. And there are more than a few things I wish you could remember.
I wish you knew how much I held you just because I could. I wish you knew how I drank in the sight of your sweet face, delighted in every smile you gave me, how every time I made you laugh I felt like I’d won the world’s most sought-after prize.
I wish you knew how much joy you brought me every day. I wish you knew how every. single. sound that came out of your mouth delighted me to no end. I wish you could see me staring at you lovingly while you slept, even. These days you hear a lot of “wash your face,” and “do your chore,” from me—I am trying to prepare you to become an adult, all the while longing for your baby days.
So I wish you could remember a time when all you heard from me was “I love you,” and “You make Mommy so happy.” I wish you could remember the million and one terms of endearment that rolled off my lips for you every day. You were my sidekick, sweetheart, and we were a good team.
I wish you could see how proud I was to push you in a cart through the grocery store or watch you toddle around the park. I wish you knew how much I LOVED taking you with me everywhere I went. You were a joy to tote around, my dear. And we had so much fun!
But we had fun at home, too. I wish you could see us delight together in reading “Hungry Caterpillar” 15 times a day. I wish we could go back in time and sing a duet of the Mr. Rogers theme song or “Who Are the People In Your Neighborhood” one more time. I wish we could do your favorite Thomas the Tank Engine puzzle again and go crazy catching bubbles on the front porch.
I wish you knew how much FUN we had together. Oh, Kid. We had SO much fun. Being your mom, the mom to JUST you, was truthfully the most carefree time of my parenting life. I wish you knew that.
You idolize your dad these days and that’s as it should be. He is the best of men. But I wish you knew how much you once looked up to me. You used to want to wear my shoes and share my makeup—not because you wanted to be a girl, but because you wanted to be like MOM. I hope there is still see something in me that you might want to aspire to.
I wish you knew what our life was like in that simpler time, babe. When all my attention was just focused on you and Dad, instead of being divided up between two additional kids. As the oldest and most independent now, you don’t get a TON of my time. But once, you had it all…and you even liked it, I swear. I wish you knew what a beautiful time that was.
So I’m telling you. And maybe, even though you can’t remember it, maybe you’ll see it in my eyes, and be able to feel it a little. I sure hope you can.
I love you, Son. More than you will ever know until you have a child of your own.