My head was groggy from multiple cries in the night of "momma, up pease." The sun was just beginning to shine over the frost covered pasture and leaving my warm bed with a toddler, bottom up and hands tucked under him for warmth, was the last thing I wanted to do. After 31 years, I know that the relentless march of the morning will not be stopped by hiding under my covers. I throw back the white comforter (white because it can be cleaned, bleached if necessary) and reluctantly begin my day. As I throw my legs over the edge of the bed, ready to begin the morning, I hear a soft voice from the center of the bed. He has rolled onto his back, and looks up at me with a shy smile and says, "momma, cold." I agree that it is cold and I take his commentary as an invitation to linger for just a moment longer. I climb back into bed and wrap my arms around the little boy as he snuggles into my chest and sighs. I sigh too, loving these moments where his happiness is my hug, my warmth and where I am the center of his world.
I have heard it said that "a daughter is a daughter forever, and a son is a son until he is married." Perhaps that saying is why I push my husband to call his mother more. "Call her, just tell her about your day," I prod. "She doesn't want to hear about my boring day," he responds. I stand there looking at my husband, and in his eyes, I see my own little boy and the toddler that my husband once was. "I promise you, she would love to hear about your day."
My little boy is going to grow up. His world will slowly expand beyond our little family to embrace his schools, the state and then the world beyond. I can't wait to watch him discover all that life has to offer. I will watch from the center of the field and then from the sidelines as he learns the wonderful joy and sorrow that are present in our world. I will slowly step back. Today, I hold his hand and direct his life. Tomorrow, I will let him walk on his own but still close by. Someday, he will run far away from me and I will sit down, weary from years of chasing, directing and hand-holding. I will await his return, *hopefully* content knowing that I did what I could. I know that someday he will walk back towards me, holding the hand of someone who has stolen his heart. I know that he cannot stay my little boy forever, but for today, I will wrap my arms around my ferocious and shy toddler, love and tickle him.