I was only 22 when I first laid eyes on him but I knew instantly that I was in love. A love beyond my previous comprehension, a love that would surpass time. For the first time in my life, my heart was swelled so full of love that it felt as if it was residing outside of my body. After almost 3 days of arduous labor including 5 intense hours of pushing and then an emergency c-section in which the anesthesia was not working properly, one look in his tiny little face and I knew, for him, I would do it all over again in a heart beat. March 11, 1995 was the day Joshua was born and the day I began wearing the honor of being called Mom.
As the years have gone by I have watched my baby boy turn into a man. It seems as if 15 months have passed when in reality it has been 15 years. I woke up one morning a few months ago and there was a man who was not my husband living under my roof. When did he get so tall and his voice get so deep? Where did the time go? Where did my little boy go? When he was a little guy I swore I would never forget what his chubby little hands looked like (thank goodness for better knowing preschool teachers who made sure those little hands made their way into the ink so I would have a reference), Now those chubby hands have been replaced with large manly hands.
A few weeks ago I watched as my son walked home from the bus arm in arm with a girl. I felt strangely irritated inside. I have never seen him with a girl before, not like that anyway. When I relayed the story to my sisters I referred to her in a snotty tone as THAT girl. To make matters worse she lives right across the street. When I heard how immature my words sounded I realized that I was a tad bit jealous. She seems to be a very sweet girl and I mean no disrespect to her. I knew one day he would fall in love but what I didn't know was how I would feel about it. I want the best for him and I want him to find happiness it's just all happening so darn fast.
Can someone please put the train in reverse and go back and pause on that 10 year old who let me hug and kiss him goodnight, or that sweet 5 year old who picked the most beautiful dandelion bouquets, or that curious toddler who was always trying to figure out how things worked, or that happy, content with the world baby boy? We have had our ups and downs and everywhere in betweens. Like the days when he suffered from asthma as a small tot. He has since out grown the asthma but I remember nights when all I could do was watch him sleep as he labored each breath. We have made it through many a school program, pre-schoool, kindergarten, 5th and 8th grade graduations, his first steps to his first day of school, 15 Christmases and 15 birthdays. None of that prepared me for this though.
I think I'm beginning to understand why mother-in-laws get such a bad rap. We women can be a bit territorial at times especially when it comes to the men in our lives. After all nobody can take better care of them than us.
Letting go is such a difficult process. I'm the rip the band-aide off fast and quickly get the pain over with so I can move on kind of girl. Letting go of our children can't be quick because they still need to lean on us from time to time. Just as I would go through his nightmare birth process all over again just to have him in my life I will let that band-aide of letting go be pulled off ever so slowly sometimes catching hairs causing a little more pain along the way.