One Long Goodbye
I read somewhere the other day – a friend was looking back on her 2-year-old’s baby photos, she was both amazed at how much he’s grown and sad at how the long goodbye of motherhood has already started.
Even as I stand somewhere near the beginning of this journey, I already know what she means.
The little berry no longer likes to be held in a cradle position, the way I always used to hold her to sleep, to nurse, to bounce, to walk up and down the stairs to comfort her.
The world is her oyster and she’s enthusiastic to discover every inch of it everyday, crawling away from me towards cupboards, shelves, boxes, stairs, dustbins, and a million things she’s not supposed to touch.
If I hold her close, the embrace lasts but for a second before she’s off again to explore the world. She looks back every now and then to make sure I’m still there, but it’s not the same as holding her in my arms, in the nook between my shoulder and chin where she always manages to find a comfortable spot.
Already she’s on the verge of walking, the first sure sign of independence. The ironic thing is that I would be cheering her first steps, even as she walks further and further away from me.
It’s funny to be living in this conundrum where I wish she would stay little forever because I can’t bear seeing her grow out of my reach; yet I’m also enthusiastic about what lies ahead, the stories we can share, crafts we can do, make-believe we can conjure.
Perhaps motherhood is indeed one long goodbye, and I should remember to treasure my time with her. Those who’ve walked this path say that the most beautiful days are the perfectly ordinary ones, and I’m inclined to believe them.