Thursday, July 19, 2012

Beautiful Boy

You wanted to sleep with me last night.
Like, officially sleep with me.
Like from bedtime til morning.
Like it was Christmas Eve.  

And I suppose that last night was the eve of something big.
At exactly 5:37 a.m. this morning you turned 10.

But did you really need to sleep with me all...night...long?

It wasn't just me, then?

Because as I tucked you in last night and kissed your head and found a myriad other ways to stall my leaving just a little bit more, I found myself pushing against a force that scared me.
An urge to pull you in tight, into the vacuum of me, so as to forestall all that might wait for us on the other side of dawn.

Because, on that shore, time marches on and you will grow up and people will laugh at you and you will make mistakes.  And hard times will come and you will get confused.  Over there, you will have dreams and ideas and you will meet new people but things won't always be what they seem and sometimes you will wonder what is the point?  And one seemingly insignificant move here might trip a whole domino run of potentially life changing happenings there and you won't always have control over any of it.  And because the fairy land of childhood where you have laid your head, with all of its comforts and love and spice cookies and Harry Potter books will outgrow its skin on the other side and it might pinch.

How can I release you to all of that?  How, exactly, does a mama begin to let go?

Because I always want it to be that running to my side in the dark of the night will be enough.
I want to continue to operate on the belief that there is nothing so big and bad and dangerous that we can't fight it off together.
We are a formidable pair, you and I.  And I move mountains for you.

But while we slept, the Earth kept turning and the katydids flirted and the Sun found its way to the horizon.  And here we are, changed.  You are ten and I am torn.

Having a child is to forever have "your heart go walking around outside your body" and maybe that's why I am stalling.  Why I can't seem to loosen my grip.  I don't want you to go, my dear sweet boy.
To untangle that which has woven us together is a task I'd rather not tackle and I've always been clumsy with my hands anyway.

But then I look at your face, with its dimples and almond eyes, with its baby cheeks melting into an older chin and I shiver.  You are looking at me, yes, but you are also looking beyond me.  Because there is more to see these days than just my face and I am no longer your only Sun.

And so what I see now, well, it is beautiful.


  1. You just made my heart cry. I have those same feelings about both of my kids(adult kids) which is so hard to think about. It's nice to know we share so many feelings. No matter how much time goes by, they will always be your kids. Because they'll always have your heart.

  2. I have a two month old baby girl and I am crying so hard... it feels like it's already going too fast :( Beautifully written <3

  3. Absolutely beautiful! So, so true - perfectly captured.

  4. This is so beautiful, and he is just gorgeous. I have an almost 8 year old and reading this makes me want to go pick her up from school and put her on my lap and snuggle her for the rest of the day. (crycrycry) Thank you so much for sharing this and linking up at The Parent 'Hood. You are just what I needed today! -- Megan (FriedOkra)

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  6. So beautifully written! Thank you for sharing

  7. Megan, thank you for visiting. And yes, I, too, just want to take these wee ones (and not so wee ones) and wrap my arms around them, forever. So glad that you understand.