Each night he touches his cheek to mine. I close my eyes and soak in the softness of his skin. I smell the sweetness of each breath. I put my head on his chest and listen to his heart beat. I’m not a doctor, but the rhythm of each beat sounds strong and perfect.
Every night I talk to him. He tells me his worries and things he’s afraid of and I listen intently, giving him the best advice I can. Some days my advice seems sound, others, it’s filled with a defensive emotion and is likely not the best guidance, but I forgive myself due to the situation.
Every night I pray with him. He talks to God and I listen. When he’s done I tuck the blankets in around him and kiss him gently on the cheek. When I go to my room, I thank God myself for my family and for giving my children life.
Every night I remember that I almost lost him. I remember him being blue and limp in my arms. I remember him not breathing. I remember his heart monitor stopping, twice. I remember the worry. I remember bargaining with God. I remember begging for his life. I remember being alone in the hospital room and feeling helpless. I remember clutching onto my doctor and sobbing into his arms, telling him how scared I was and listening to him tell me it’s okay.
Every night I listen to my husband tell me that I need to allow him to grow up. I nod and agree, but part of me realizes he will forever be my baby. I realize that when you almost lose your child’s life, you tend to hold onto them a little tighter and keep them close.
Every night I question if I’m a good enough parent. This week I got my answer. For the first time in his life, my son asked to leave my side. After heading out to Mackinac, we came home and he left for Chicago with the church. He’s done this before, because he has his sister with him, so that’s not unusual. However, upon his arrival home, he gives me a big squeeze and then asks his grandparents if he can go to Alabama with them. They weren’t going to take him, but they decided to let him go, after adding the point that once he’s gone he cannot change his mind. He agreed and looked at me and said, “Momma, I’m going to miss you a lot, but I would like to go with them please.” My heart flipped and I felt the tears welling up in my eyes. This is the week my son grew up and now it’s my turn to let go.