You’re three-feet-something and I set you up on our kitchen counter. We dance together while the music fills our home. I cherish these moments, since you are my kid who can keep a rhythm. You genuinely seem to love music and that makes my mama heart so happy.
As you stand up on that counter, in my mind we fast forward to your wedding day. I see all these times that we danced together culminating in one dance. I imagine that mother-son dance to be like walking down memory lane.
Taking me back to when I would sway with you as a newborn to get you to go sleep. To the silly toddler years where you would imitate my every move, and we would end up in giggles. Then the awkward years where I’ll beg you to humor me and dance with your mama. The years when you’ll ask for me to help you learn a dance so that you can impress your crush. With the ultimate goal of not embarrassing yourself, or her on the dance floor.
And then eventually I’ll hand you over to your new forever, and you will dance with her for all your days.
Raising men is no easy task, but it is one that is filled with so many moments that us mamas mentally take hold of, and instantly cherish forever. Every random hug from you, or every time you’ve uttered I love you mama, all those times weren’t for nothing. They kept me going on the hard days.
I know your wedding day isn’t about you and me. Your new beginning is my ending. Those times you would look to me for direction and guidance you will now look to your bride. I am in no way bitter about this—the process is a beautiful one.
But son, on your wedding day I get this one final dance with you.
And here’s what I hope for during that special song that you choose for us. I hope that there are sweet moments of slowness, like in your newborn days. I hope that there is a break in the song that we just beam with smiles, and maybe even can be a little silly—just like your toddler years. And before the song ends you will grow up before my eyes, all over again.
It is a lot to ask of a song, I know.
It’s not lost on me that this is no easy thing to accomplish. Here’s the thing though: It was no easy task raising you. Your wedding day, and this dance is what I’ve looked forward to through a lot of those days when I felt like we were at odds. When I cleaned up another mess you innocently made. As I did the mundane tasks required of me as your mama. I know that on your wedding day, I’ll be desperately grasping at the days when you would wake up from your nap and come running down the hallway to snuggle with me on the sofa.
On your wedding day, I’ll see all my effort, love, and care stand before me and spread his wings and fly.
I know what happens to boys who find their forever love. They become men who become husbands, who become fathers. Life only moves forward, there is no going back. I was there once—I am someone’s forever who left his mother for me.
I know how this goes.
So to my dear son, dance with me just one more time as my forever baby. Then, I promise you can have your forever love, no strings pulling you back to me. I’ll let you go, and you’ll be just fine, because all those dances throughout your childhood were preparing you for this moment.
And without me knowing it, I imagine they prepared me, too.
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