Tonight you needed me to hold you a little longer before you fell asleep, perhaps just because you wanted to know I was there even though you had pushed your boundaries a little further than normal today.
It’s been a while since you’ve needed me to hold you a little longer. You’re growing so big now, so determined and so considered. You rarely do something on a whim, you think it all through. I think you get that from your father. He makes me a lot more grounded, just like you do.
I’ve been trying to write you a letter for a while now, but I could never find the words to pen. We’ve got a special bond, you and me, I guess it is because of all we have been through together. More than anybody will realise. You’re my light in darker days, my confidant in times of need and you alone steered me down the path I take today.
When I was at school, we were all asked what we wanted when we grew up. Everyone else said things like a good career as a doctor, a fast, expensive car or a big house, but I said that all I wanted was for my children to feel loved and to have a home they felt safe in. As I sat with you this evening, I realised that I have all that I ever wanted. Because as you lay there, while I stroked your hair, I realised that you never have to question if you are loved because you are loved more than I will ever be able to explain to you and you have a home you feel safe in, because I will always be there if you need me.
I’m honoured to see you grow into the wonderful little boy I see before me these days, so full of character and determination. I watch you with amazement as you are so empathetic to others and it makes me realise just how special you truly are, just how wise beyond your years. I cherish every moment with you, because I’m all too aware how much less you need me every day. Just how much you grow into your own. You see Oliver, (and this is something you will learn when you have children one day) children never truly belong to their parents, they are only borrowed. Borrowed until one day, they spread their wings and take on their own journey. The days are long when you’re parent – at least some of them are – but the years are short. In a breath you were walking, in a heartbeat you said your first word and I dare blink for fear of missing something.
I cuddled you all day, every day when you were a baby, but now I don’t get many. I was always so eager to see your firsts, but now I wish I could see them all again, because every day you gain a little more independence and every day I realise you need me a little less. I’m excited for all of the firsts you are yet to have and excited to watch you grow into the wonderful person I know you will become. But for now stay my baby just a little longer because I’ll miss these days when they’re gone.