I’ve always been the type of person who plans ahead. I usually have at least a vague idea of what my future holds. When I was in first grade I decided I wanted to be a teacher and I’ve never looked back. I also knew I wanted children and that I would love being a mom, but I had no idea how much. I didn’t understand the warmth I would feel in my heart every time I look at my precious son. I had no idea how my chest would ache listening to him cry. I couldn’t fathom the joy one tiny smile could bring or the laughter that would come from the quietest of coos. My life has changed and will never be the same.
Now I look into my son’s eyes and I see my future. It’s a totally different experience. I’m not sure what my future holds, but as I look into my son’s deep blue eyes I know I will love it. Just like I always have, I think of my future all the time, but now in a totally different way.
One evening Carter was really tired and wouldn’t go down for a nap. I picked him up and started slow dancing to the radio with him, holding his hand in mine and everything. I began to picture dancing with him during a mother/son dance at his wedding. As I put lotion on his chubby legs with fat rolls I wonder, will these legs someday propel him toward the finish line of a cross country race? I watch his eyes light up when one of our dogs comes into view. I imagine one day sitting with him as he chooses a dog of his very own or maybe walking aisles in a pet store choosing the perfect fish. Watching his arms and legs flail at night while he’s sleeping I worry he will sleep walk like his daddy.
Now I get it. I get the parents of my first graders who still want to walk their child to class every day. I get why Ty’s mom cried at our wedding. I can’t imagine a day I won’t want to give Carter eskimo kisses and snuggle his cheek. He will always be my baby. No matter how old he is I will be able to look at his face and remember the first time I ever saw it. I will remember the warmth of his skin as he was placed on my chest just minutes after he was born. I will always remember that newborn baby, my baby, my precious son.