We’ve taken some big steps together, Little One. Well really, you have taken some of the biggest steps. And I am so proud to watch you grow and learn and make these big, first steps.
But Baby, each one of these steps? Is a step away from me.
For nine months we were closer than anyone can be. I kept you warm and snug and cozy. I carried you with me everywhere, singing to you, telling you stories, and rubbing your back. We were inseparable, and I was reminded of that every moment of every day. You kicked. You hiccuped. You rolled around. You let the world know that you were coming. You were here.
And then, together, we took a big step forward. No matter how reluctant either of us were, you were pushed into this world, cold and crying, waiting to snuggle back up to me. And so I held you. Skin to skin we were. This perfect moment, my eyes drinking you in for the very first time. My Love. My Baby.
But you were no longer a part of my body. The cord was cut. You were your own person.
That was a big step.
For both of us.
And then, you were this perfect little creature in my arms. Warm and breathing, sighing and snoring, stretching and yawning. We spent our days like that, you at my breast, sleeping, eating, sleeping some more. I breathed in and was overcome by the scent of new life, of new motherhood. I was engulfed in your essence as you were engulfed in my arms.
And your smile. That smile that told me you were happy to have me as a Mom. You were happy to be in the world and in my arms. That smile that made me smile. That smile that wrapped up all the joy in the world in a perfect, toothless grin. That smile was. That smile is. Perfection.
Soon, my world tumbled upside down. You rolled. You sat. You crawled. You walked. You slept on your own and you weaned from my breast. You were experiencing life from somewhere other than my arms.
Big, huge, giant steps.
Steps that filled my heart with pride.
But the biggest, longest, hardest step to take has been the step out on our own. You and me, Baby.
You’re at daycare. I’m at work. My hands aren’t making your lunch, they’re not changing your diaper, they’re not snuggling you close as you take your bottle. My kisses aren’t preparing you for dream land. My smile isn’t greeting you after a nap. Instead, my hands are typing emails, my smiles are answering phone calls. My kisses are lonely.
Lonely for you.
I miss you.
I sit at work and stare at your smile, frozen in time. I can’t check on you. I can’t make sure you are okay. I am sharing you, sharing my Mommyhood.
I miss you.
I miss you when you go to bed, after just a couple of hours together. I walk in to your room, put my hand on your back and listen. You’re warm and breathing, sleeping and snoring, stretching and yawning. You’re perfection, my not-so-little baby boy.
And I realize that you still need me. You no longer need the protection of my womb. You no longer need the constant comfort of my arms. You no longer need the milk that has dried up. But you need me.
When the sun shines in the window and a new day has started.
When your smiles need a match and your tears need a squeeze.
When the day is done and daycare is over.
When the lights go dim and the dinner’s put away.
When the bottle is being slurped and gurgled.
When your eyes are shutting, slowly blinking until the night has taken over.
When you silently fall into blissful rest.
You need me. Your Mommy.
I am here. Not that far away. Not at all.