I don’t remember the last time I held you.
I don’t remember the last time you were curled up on my chest in a ball.
Or when you last sat facing me on my lap, legs out to each side and passed out, mouth open on me.
There was a final time, though I have no idea when it was.
There was no parade.
No sticker or sign for you to hold.
There was no photo taken or commemorative announcement.
Just one day I held you on me, and it seemed as though there was no end in sight for this pure bliss of holding my sweet mini.
Then one day it was the last time.
I wonder what would have happened if I knew? Would I have cried the whole time? Would I have taken photos and maybe a video? Wrote down notes to try to soak each moment in? Likely.
I didn’t even realize this moment had came and went until tonight.
Tonight, you asked to lay on top of my stomach like when you were a baby.
I of course said yes and we fumbled around for too long, both trying to get comfortable, until we realized it just wasn’t going to happen.
We snuggled instead.
I sang to you, just like I always have.
And the same song I’ve always sang – a song I wrote when you were about a week old and I thought I was some exhausted mom, when really I was just up all night soaking in the pure jubilation you brought to me. A song I’ve sung to you (and now your brother and sister ever since).
Tonight you were not curled up on my chest as I sang it, patting your back as I sang at just the right tone to create a white noise effect.
But tonight we snuggled instead.
And it is tonight I realize, with each passing day, slowly things are going to drop off, and new ones will be picked up. It’s all part of how we grow as people, and how you grow into the beautiful human you are.
We are going to have lots of insteads.
You will maybe want to spend Christmas with your in-laws, so we will celebrate Christmas Eve instead.
You might injure your knee in your crazy stunts and need a break from our runs, so we will walk instead.
You might want a private wedding, or no wedding at all. So we will celebrate the love of your life with dinner instead.
And I may never actually be able to find you a pet unicorn, so I will get you a horse instead.
I truly don’t care how our ‘insteads’ happen, I just care that I get to experience my life side by side with yours.
You’re growing so fast and I can’t believe when I look into your eyes how this entire loving, independent being has developed around them.
Sorry you can’t lay on my chest anymore, but it’s one of many insteads, and I am here for it, Bug.”
Read more motherhood stories here:
‘If I could go back, I would never put you down. I’d enjoy the cuddles, even at 3 a.m. I’d study your little fingers and toes, and soak it all in.’: Mom urges ‘cherish every moment’ with your newborns, ‘You will never get the chance again’
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