My heart broke a little today as I sat down to relax for the first time since getting up this morning and getting work done when I realized ― Parker went to bed, on his own. Without our hug. Without our talk. Without his goodnight kiss.
For a minute, I felt like a bad mom. “How could I get so distracted with my own stuff that I forgot something so special to me? Did he cry? Did he wonder why I wasn’t there?”
And then worse, why didn’t he notice? Why didn’t he cry or beg for a story or tell me goodnight.
My heart felt heavy in my chest. I sat there and quietly talked myself off the mom guilt ledge: “He’s 7, Shelby. He’s growing up.” “Maybe it’s a sign he’s learning to be an independent brave young man who doesn’t need to be tucked in.” “Maybe he thinks I forgot?!”
Anxiety set in. I snuck in his dark room. I cuddled up in his airplane sheets and gently kissed his head. I cuddled my precious boy as I whispered the same words we always say at bed, as if he could hear me.
“I love you forever. Like you for always. As long as I’m living my brave boy you’ll be.”
He didn’t need me tonight for bedtime. There will be many more nights that he doesn’t need me for things. It makes my heart ache with the thought. I’m dreading the day he tells me he’s too old to hold my hand or that he would rather hang out with his friends then spend his weekends making adventures with me. Those special moments will grow few and far between as he becomes the strong, smart, kind man making his way in this world.
But tonight in mine, he’s still my brave boy. And this mommy is going to linger in the small moments between growth spurts and airplane sheets and first dates to this moment. He may not have needed me. And he won’t need me many more moments.
But I will always be there when he does. I will always need him. And in my mind part of him will always be the toothless grin who needs his mommy’s goodnight kiss.