Sometimes it just comes back around and smacks me right in the head. Sometimes I think I’m perfectly balanced and no longer feeling the pangs of the old empty nest.
Then it just jumps up, grabs me by the throat and shakes me like a wolf taking down a limp old rabbit.
I still miss my kids. I still miss my Mommy days.
The other day we were down in our basement playroom. There are a bunch of old toys down there. Old games, old books, some aging camping equipment. And a few old photos.
My Ellie reached out to one of those photos and asked, “Who is that boy? Is he my cousin?”
My heart stopped, took a deep breath, started itself back up again.
“That’s your Uncle Matt.” I told my granddaughter. “That’s what he looked like when he was…..(your age? My little one? My sweet tiny boy?)….when he was about 4.”
And I held that frame in my hand.
I could hear his laugh. I could feel the warm sun on my shoulders. I could feel, as if it was right there under my palms, the smooth soft texture of his back. His golden silky hair.
He was my boy. My baby.
My eyes filled with tears.
I know. I know that my boy is not gone, although in the ways that matter to my Mommy heart, he is.
My beautiful golden haired boy is still here. Still a huge part of my life. Still in my heart and my thoughts every day. He is happy, grown, in love, loving and fulfilled.
I couldn’t have wished for anything more.
Except that in that tiny moment, when Ellie asked me about the smiling boy in the photo, I wanted THAT little boy back. Just for a minute. Just for a heartbeat.
That little boy who loved me so and who smiled with just joy as he played with a ball on a hot summer day.
We all move forward, every single day. We look to the future with love and hope. We grow, we learn, we continue to become the people we hope will be our best selves.
But every once in a while, time simply loops itself back and we are face to face with the moments that have passed us by.
I love my current life. I love the idea of my future.
But oh, how I’d love another chance to cuddle that sweet boy.