My Dear Boy,
I had a long, hard week. It’s Thursday evening as I write this, and I’m hoping for a Friday that treats me well. I’m tired. Very tired. I have my last two exams soon, and after that, I could be done with University. I could get my diploma, knowing that there’s nothing I’d rather do more is stay at home with you. Watch you as you make your first steps, say your first words and draw your first drawings.
Dear boy, you’re 9 months old as I write this, sleeping in your crib without a care in the world. You’re innocent, happy and clueless about the challenges surrounding you. Your world is small, yet growing more rapidly than I admit I’d like. You’ll understand this one day, as you become a father, if you choose so.
I’m heartbroken, although you fill my world with joy I never thought possible. Every single milestone, no matter how anticipated, reminds me of how desperately I want to pause the time, just for a bit. I feel as though you were born yesterday, yet your two little teeth are poking out, you happily eat your broccoli and have begun to stand on your own two feet. I love you and I love watching you thrive more than anything, yet I’m reminded every day that these moments full of happiness, and hardship, are short-lived.
We all, as parents, want our children to grow into independent, content adults that will one day find their own way in this world. We also want to hold you just a bit longer, to steal just a few more hugs, while you’re calm, tired, or in need of comfort.
That’s how I feel right now.
I’ve given you everything I could, yet every day, I wish I could give you more.
I wish I didn’t need coffee when I woke up – your smile lifts my spirits so much better.
I wish I had things to talk to you all the time instead of listening to occasional podcasts while we play on the floor – but it’s hard sometimes, when you look at me with those happy, but blank eyes, and I know you still understand so little.
I wish I knew more games to play with you.
I wish I had more mom friends so you could spend more time around babies your age, too.
I wish we had more money so we can eat better food, go on a field trip, or just buy something for you without re-examining our monthly budget every time.
I wish many things are different, but what I want the most is for you to stay the same. Just for a moment, so I can grasp it, savor it, bottle it, find a way to keep it for when I need it, in the years that are in front of us, when you don’t need me the way you do now.
I wish I could always go back to feeling how soft your hands are when you hold mine.
I wish I could save the memory of the smell your skin has when you wake up.
I wish you’d really know right now how much I love you, every time I hold you, kiss your forehead and stroke your hair.
I wish I had it in me to feel better, more rested, more cheerful, more often – for I know now how quickly the time with you passes.
I hope you will smile the way you do, that your eyes will light up the way they do, when they see me and dad – at least for a good few years, although we know it may never be enough for us.
I hope I’ll be able to give you everything you want, but also teaches you that you won’t always have everything in life by not giving you too much.
I hope you will feel like you have enough freedom to spend time with other people in your life, but will always want to come home. Because for you, there will always be a home with us.
I hope that, after you blow your first birthday candle in three months, time will slow down somehow. Because I’m not ready for you to be everything I hope you’ll be.