My dear little one, this morning you were annoyed with your silly mom for watching an old video of three-year-old you pretending to write and perform a song in your bedroom. Recording through the open crack in your door, I observed you “writing” down your lyrics as you practiced them out loud. Once you were satisfied with your draft, I watched as you grabbed your guitar and stood proudly on your bed and performed your original composition. I relished hearing your baby voice complete with lack of /s/ blend speech. You don’t like seeing yourself that way. You didn’t like me watching you then, “mom (s)top!” You don’t like me watching it now years later. You saw that little version of yourself and felt embarrassed and exposed.
What you don’t understand is that I miss that little boy terribly. I have loved the boy you are at each stage, but I will always miss the little boy you leave behind as you grow. That little boy, with his baby speech and boundless imagination, is now gone forever, relegated to photos and video memories. The version of you that has replaced him is the next wonderful version of yourself. This older version can now surprise me with blueberry pancakes and coffee in bed, which I cherish, knowing that someday this boy will be replaced by an even bigger, older, more mature version of you. When that time comes, I will mourn the loss of the boy you are right now. Parenting has been a constant lesson in saying goodbye to the boy you were, while embracing and marveling over the young man you are slowly becoming.
So please, indulge your mother when she wants to spend some time reliving these favorite moments with you. I may not be able to hold that adorable little boy in my lap any longer, but I am thankful I can relive these sweet moments whenever I’m missing him.