For whatever reason, Liam wanted me to rock him tonight after fussing in his bed for a while. It’s been some time since I’ve cradled him in that way; there’s something about an 18 month old that with all of his being revolts against being held like a baby. But tonight, as I cradled him, snuggled him close and could feel his breath on my cheek the memories came flooding back of a time not long ago that I spent hours each week doing this very thing. And my heart began to ache for a time I know I will never get back with him. I remember the way he turned his hand over as if massaging something unseen in the air, a sure sign that he was about to fall asleep, the sweet, sweet smell of his head covered in downy soft hair. His silky smooth and plump skin as I gently ran my fingers over his arm.
There aren’t many things that I honestly feel like I’ve excelled at in life or put my whole being into. College I pretty much did what I needed to to get by. My marriage I often find myself acting in my best interest, but there is something about motherhood that makes me want to give every ounce of energy to that is as natural as breathing to me. I have loved being his mother. Sure there are days I pine for hours to myself, shopping alone, or an afternoon at a coffee shop to just read. But the innate love I feel for Liam far surpasses those moments.
Nathan continues to remind me that our little boy is not a baby any longer, that he is our little boy. I struggle to see this, knowing that as the days pass this will become more true. As I held Liam close tonight, the reality that there will soon be a little soul younger than he taking up residence in our home began to sink in. I know that change will be good for all of us and God will once again knock our socks off as we open our hearts to another child and Liam gains a lifelong friend. I know that we will love this baby girl just as much as we love our little boy, but for now it is a little bittersweet to me.
For now I’m soaking up the last bits of time I get with just the two of us and trying to remember that God never intended for my baby boy to remain my baby boy, but that he was entrusted to us for a season to help him grow into the man he was made to be. I can’t think of any more worthwhile task than that.