As I followed him down the hallway last week, I was struck by the difference a few years can make.
He’s much taller than me now, by at least a head. That same head that used to rest in the hollow of my arm.
Day by day, the shoulders are becoming broader and stronger, and it becomes clear to me that the shoulders that once shook with sobs over small injustices, are built to carry loads all of their own.
The feet now so many sizes bigger than my own, that once fitted neatly into the palm of my hand, are about to make their own way in the world.
If I could turn back the clock, just a little, I would.
Not for his sake – but for mine.
If I could wake up in the middle of the night to the cries again – I think this time I’d be more patient.
I’d probably read an extra story or two each night, with the voices as requested.
I’d sing a few more bedtime songs, and I’d probably even go and fetch more, much needed drinks of water.
I’d definitely play with Lego more often.
I guess the important thing now is to live these moments as they occur.
The school days are passing just as they are meant to, maybe a little too quickly for my liking. Wishing the earlier days back just means I miss now and now is beautiful too. Did I ever imagine I’d be discussing “Macbeth” or “King Lear”with that little guy who was requesting another reading of “The Gruffulo” with the voices ? I’m not conscious that thought ever crossed my mind! Yet here we are.
That essence of that little guy is still there – he’s just older now, he’s wiser, but he’s still kind, he’s still joyful, he’s the things I’d hoped and prayed he would be.
Maybe as parents we don’t realise that in order for them to become the people we hope they’ll be, we end up feeling a little left behind.
I didn’t realise that one day I’d be the one popping into his room for a chat. I didn’t realise I’d be wishing that time would slow down just a little.
I’m beginning to understand the sentiment behind those “it goes so quickly, enjoy every moment” comments I heard as an exhausted, overwhelmed parent of a newborn.
But, it’s happening the way it should. He’s ready for the next stage – the school days are nearly done.
It’s me who isn’t quite ready … but I’ve got a few weeks and I’m working on it!