When my son was a baby, to get him to sleep and to settle him when he woke up with a cute little frown on his face, we would stroke his head, just at the crease of his eyebrows and he’d settle right back down.
At the grand old age of 6, I can walk into his bedroom to re-tuck him in of an evening, when he’s fast asleep and he’ll stir, his little brow will furrow as it always has, and I’ll still be able to settle him by stroking between his eyebrows.
Today-at that grand old age of 6-my boy is venturing into the brand new world of “going to a friends house for tea”.
Beyond excited, he’s spent the last two days since he was invited by his friend, doing nothing but talking about it, planning it, repeating the things we’ve already discussed, and in general, bouncing around in anticipation.
In his eyes, Mummy is joining him in this excitement. Every now and again she asks, “how excited are you”, only to be met with wide, happy, cheesy expressions, and more talk of plans that have been made.
Behind all this, is a mother who is not as excited as he thinks.
Behind all this, is a mother who is cross with the world for making her son grow up too fast for her liking.
Behind all this, is a mother who is sometimes unbelievably sad, at the day by day difference in her child, her baby-the little boy who once only had eyes for her world and everything she did for him.
But behind all this, is a mother who knows these things have to happen-to nurture and mature her child-these things must play a part in his upbringing.
And behind all this, is a mother who, no matter how painful it might be, is having to come to terms with the fact he is growing up, he doesn’t need her as much as he first did, and that, no matter how painful it might feel, it is a good thing.
He will always be my baby. I suppose I’ve just got to learn to start letting go.