I Wish I Could Remember How It Felt Before It All Slipped Away
I remember when I'd look down at this sleeping boy and see a baby in a stroller—not a kid in a shopping cart.
Now, with gangling arms and bruise covered legs, he barely fits as I push his tired body around the store. And I can't help but think—where did my baby go?
Sure, I've been there each and every day of his young life, watching him grow from infant to baby. Baby to toddler. Toddler to kid.
And still, somehow I missed it. Missed him growing up.
What did it feel like to rock him to sleep for the last time? When did he stop needing me to carry him everywhere? How long ago did my kisses stop landing on plump cheeks and move to a hard forehead?
I wish I could say I remember, but I don't. . .
It all happened so fast.
I can't say I wasn't warned. All parents are. I just wish I would h
ave known how badly it would hurt when the realization finally sunk in.
My baby is gone forever and he is never coming back.
So today I'll push him around in this shopping cart and thank God for the chance to do so, because before too long his body will have outgrown the space entirely.
This evening I'll try not to get upset when he snubs my dinner and begs for mac 'n cheese, because one day I'll look over to find his seat at the table suddenly vacant.
And tonight I'll read him a bedtime story and cherish the way it feels as we cuddle on his bed flipping through every page. Because before I know it he'll be reading those stories all by himself.
But perhaps, if I make the extra effort, I can start to remember. Remember how it all felt before it slipped away.
Because, as parents, it's in the memories that we find our most aching sadness AND our greatest joy.
What more could we ask for?