In the dark, he sat on the edge of the bed and told me about it, and when he was done, I patted the bed beside me and he laid down snuggling into my arms like he did when he was little. It was so familiar, this holding of my child and yet so foreign. See, as he's gotten older, space has developed between us. He dives in for fleeting hugs and short-hand "Love 'ya's" these days as he learns about his own space and his own world.
I know this is normal but it doesn't mean that I don't miss him already.
As I laid there and held my boy, the images of our first nights together as mother and child came back to me. Spending the night in our hospital bed, communing in the glow of the mounted TV screen. I didn't get much sleep, preferring to hold and look at the miracle that came from my aging body - the baby that was so unlikely by then but came anyway.
There were times when I held him that he pushed away. It was from that vantage point that he could safely survey the world and know that I would not drop him.
As he grew, he knew only of the love his daddy and I had for him. He was always loved and always safe, but a time comes when he has to strike out on his own... going to school, finding his own friends and sometimes losing them for no apparent reason. The hugs become fleeting and soon you realize that this miracle is standing on his own feet as his own person.
It's hard to let go. Especially when those hugs and snuggles become rarer. But he's growing up and I have to loosen my grasp on his childhood and let him move forward.
Is it wrong of me to look forward to the occasional nightmare when he seeks solace in my arms again?
Son, I will always hold you tight when you need it... and I will reluctantly turn you loose when you're ready.