Today is a big day for me… Both my boys have birthdays this week, they turn 5 & 6. It’s days like these that make me think about how they have grown. I look back on all their achievements, all they have accomplished, my heart beats big thuds of pride and I get a little teary when I think that their “baby days” are gone. It’s a big thing when a Mama realizes her little boys are growing into little men!

So this morning I dropped my eldest (who turns 6 tomorrow) off at school. I stop the car, we get out and start walking. I take his hand and hold it firmly in mine, as I usually do, and we continue on our way. After a few steps he lets go and walks ahead. I call out to him and say, “Don’t you want to hold my hand?”. His reply… “I’m okay, thanks mom.” I’m stunned, so I ask him straight up, “are you getting  a little too big  to hold my hand?” He looks back at me, smiles, and says: “mmhmm”.

And there it is… My first and eldest baby, is not that anymore!

He may not be a baby anymore, but he’ll always be my baby. so I give his shoulder a squeeze and say to him… “You will always be my baby.”

Wow, what an emotional morning! The realization that this beautiful child of mine is growing up struck me with the kind of force that tends to leave us a little breathless. Why does time fly by like this? Why is it that, in moments like these, we are stopped in our tracks with memories and emotions that overwhelm us and threaten to take over? Well, I guess that this is how it should be. The love we have for our children encompasses every fibre of our being.

But this was a big one for me. The reality being that I stood there knowing that I wont always be there to protect him. I wont always have that “control” over his decisions (as we do when they are young). I wont always be able to hold his hand…

In that moment I made a silent promise to him. To my sweet (not so little) boy. I promise to be the best mom I can be for you. I promise to always listen, try to understand, and to uplift you. When troubles come, and you feel disheartened, I promise to be there even if in silence. I will share all your joys with you, I will be your biggest cheerleader. I will nurture, discipline, love and cherish you.  I will always wipe away your tears. I will defend you with all my might. I will always have your back! Even as you grow and at times need to have some distance from me, you better know that I will wait patiently for you to let me in. I will always be honest with you. I know there will be times when I will fail, disappoint and maybe even anger you, and I apologize for that now, but everything I do will have one single root cause… my love for you!

As we walk this future road together, please know that I am walking next to you every step of the way. And yes my boy, I will be holding your hand, I will forever hold your hand.

I bent down kissed him goodbye, cherishing that little moment of him being my baby!