I held you today and slow danced in that faded, yellow rocker back and forth, back and forth. Your head on my shoulder, your long legs curled up so you can still fit. You drifted to sleep, your steady breathing its own sweet lullaby—for my soul rather than yours.
This time with you is coming to an end. I know this, and my heart stings with the loss I know is inevitable. You’re my baby. It’s true you always will be, but let’s be honest, I won’t always be able to hold you. Not like this.
Nap time used to hold an excitement for me, as I’d finally have a chance to lay you down and rush downstairs to accomplish “important” things or perhaps enjoy some time for just me.
But as the last of these moments with you appears on the horizon, my idea of “important” is rearranging itself. I find that rather than rushing downstairs, I linger longer upstairs with you. I still have things to do, and yes, I do still long for some “me” time. But I feel these moments slipping away. I want to stop them…to slow the steady ticking of the clock, but we all know that’s not how time works.
And I have to wonder what all I might miss if I could stop the time. There are many things I’m sure.
I’d miss seeing you run with all your might, wind whipping your hair, hollering when that kite finally took flight behind you.
I’d miss walking hand in hand, watching your brave and widening eyes, as we navigate the halls of Kindergarten.
I’d miss watching you not only learn to swim but also how to do a cannonball with the best of them, splashing everyone in the process.
I’d miss watching you play ball and rooting you on from the bleachers while mumbling under my breath to your Daddy when I disagree with the umpire’s call.
I’d miss seeing you come to know God and Jesus, grow in your faith, and walk the waters of baptism.
I’d miss watching the relationship with your sister change as you both grow older, sometimes drawing closer, other times pulling away, but hopefully always coming back together with an unshakable bond.
I’d miss the first time you feign disinterest in a girl when I know full well you are interested in her.
I’d miss seeing you all dressed up, ready for your first school dance, a combination of excitement and nervousness playing in your eyes.
I’d miss grabbing the car door handle in a death grip, while simultaneously biting my tongue over the inequity of me being in the passenger seat instead of your Daddy, as you learn to drive.
I’d miss seeing the young man you will become. The graduations. The new jobs.
I’d miss the excitement in your eyes when you come home and tell me you’ve found “the one.”
I’d miss slow dancing with you, only this time on that dance floor, your new bride a few feet away, rather than in this old, yellow rocking chair.
I’d miss the chance to rock your babies back and forth, back and forth while the moonlight peaks through the blinds.
I would miss so much if time stood still.
And yet, rocking you, I will miss this. I don’t want to see it go. But with everything in life, there is a season. And when the sun sets on this season of our life together, I will grieve. But that new day will dawn bright and glorious, and a new season will unfold, full of joys and hugs and laughter. And I will embrace it, and especially you, all the more.