I don’t really know when it happened. And I don’t know how. But the moment I realized it, I died a little inside. My name is what has defined me for so long. And I feel lost without it.
The first time I heard it, it hurt. Had I been called that before? Have I just been too busy to notice? They say time goes too fast, but has it really been this long? Have I not been paying attention? I have so many questions that I’ll never know the answer to. And I have regrets. I could have played more. I could have snuggled more. I could have given more kisses. And been more tolerant. I could have done everything in my power to hang on to my name for as long as I could. But did I? I’m not sure.
I knew in the back of my mind that it was inevitable; but why did it have to be so soon? The saddest part is that I know it’s something I can never get back. Never again will he say it…in his sweet little chipmunk voice. Never again will I hear him call me “Mommy.”
From this point on, I will only be “Mom.” And it’s going to change again when he gets older. His tiny, innocent voice will deepen and change. And then even his normal “Mom” won’t be the same. What if he changes it again? When I get older, maybe he will decide to just call me “Ma.” And I can’t stand the thought of that.
This is only the beginning. Soon, he will stop letting me walk him into his classroom. Then he will stop giving me hugs and kisses in front of his friends. And eventually it’ll stop altogether. A hug from him will be like a gift rather than an everyday occurrence. Later, he will stop snuggling. Or stop running to me when he gets hurt. And everything that has defined me for so long will slowly vanish. What I thought I was to him will be gone.
I wish I could keep him little forever. I look at pictures where he seems so small; and I look at him today and he’s this little boy, this little human being. With thoughts and feelings, and clearly a growing vocabulary. How can I stay the same for so many years and he change so much? It’s not fair.
I know I will always be his mother and he will always be my son. No one can take that from me. But I will never be “Mommy” again. It’s a distant memory. And before long, I can no longer call him my “baby boy.” I’m going to keep losing all these things I took for granted. And it scares me. Because then, who will I be?