When he asks me to sing “tinkle” one more time before bed, nestled perfectly into the crook of my right arm.
When he gives me a hug and a kiss and then pats me on the back.
When he turns on the faucet all by himself to brush his teeth after commanding me to “talk” about “school.”
When he brings over a book for me to read to him.
When he hops off his Strider bike to pick the biggest, fluffiest dandelion to give to Mom.
These are just some of the sweet, sweet moments when I realize that this time we have together, with him so innocent and young, with me so available, aren’t forever. When I understand how different he is from the tiny, helpless baby that came into this world. When I understand that children are meant to grow, and to grow up, and to go into the world on their own.
There are other moments, too.
When he’s hanging off of my waistband saying “mama mama hedgehog hedgehog” while I’m trying to cook, jumping up and down and whining until I put on the hedgehog hand puppet to say hello.
When he tells me he wants to play trains and insists on said hedgehog doing it.
Running and hiding when it’s time to [wash hands, take a bath, change a diaper, get dressed, etc.].
Lying flat in the far corner of his lowered crib when it’s time to get up, knowing that Mama’s belly is in the way of her reaching him there.
The stuff that makes me nuts in the moment, but one day will be the hilarious little thing he did to get extra attention from me when he was just a little guy, when it was just us, before he had to share me with his little brother.
The stuff that I never saw coming when I realized that what I wanted most from this life was to have a family and be surrounded by love.