Sunday, January 11, 2009
Remember the day when we sat on the front deck, you and I? Remember how we kicked off our sandals and let the cool breeze tickle our bare feet?
Remember how we spun around in the hammock swing until we were both dizzy and breathless, giggling at how the world around us was twirling so fast even after we had stopped?
"Take a picture Mamma!" you squealed with delight, "take a picture of us being dizzy together!"
That was when you told me you would be my Baby Forever, and that you didn't want to grow up because you loved me so, and that growing up eventually meant that you would have to leave me to spin in the swing all by myself.
I reassured you that some day soon you would want to grow up, that being a Baby Forever wasn't as much fun as being a Bigger Kid. Being a Bigger Kid meant that you got to do cool things, like riding a bike without training wheels or going to the mailbox by yourself, or going to the movies with your friends.
"If you were a Baby Forever, you couldn't do all those things that a Bigger Kid gets to do" I gently reminded you.
"Like going to school?" you hesitated, placing your little hands on my cheeks and staring into my eyes, the way you always do when you are very serious about something.
"Yes," I replied "like going to school. Your brother and sister are Bigger Kids, and they go to school."
Your eyes clouded with determination and you patted my face. "Well, you don't have to worry Mamma. I'll be your Baby Forever and I will stay with you so you won't be lonely. I think that I would miss you if I went to school."
My heart cracked open a little bit, and I had to swallow hard so you wouldn't hear the tears in my voice. "Oh My Sweet Boy," I whispered into your hair as you nestled your head into my neck, "you know that no matter how old you get, or wherever you go, you will always be my Baby Forever."
As the seasons changed and the years passed, I believed that you would be my Baby Forever. We spent our days reading and giggling, playing and snuggling as we wove an invisible nest of closeness and security around ourselves. It was a strong and cozy nest, and we were happy in it for a long time.
Sometimes though, even the strongest of nests are not always strong enough when the Winds of Change start to blow.
"Mamma, I miss playing with friends" you would now start to lament. Things that we used to do together didn't make you as happy as they once did. The soft and familliar nest that we shared together for five years was getting too small for you, and you were yearning to stretch your wings.
One day, you came to me with a troubled heart, and your chin quivered when I asked you what the matter was.
"I sometimes think that I would want to go to school, but then I feel sad because who would snuggle you?"
I took in the expression on your worried little face and realized that the time had come to let go. I smiled at you and pulled you onto my lap. "You would, My Sweet Boy! I think that if you went to school, then you might be happier. If you are happy, then Mamma is happy too. School is only for a little while during the day, and we would still have all the rest of the day to snuggle!"
You studied my eyes, tiny hands gently resting on my cheeks again for a few minutes before answering "I think I would feel proud if I went to school."
"Then you will go to school, and I will be proud too." I spoke into your hair as I hugged you close to me.
"But Mamma?" you squeezed tighter, "I'll still be your Baby Forever won't I? Even if I get big and go to school?"
With my heart in my throat, I kissed the top of your head, "Yes my love, you will always be my Baby Forever."