‘I miss you already, my baby. You used to need me so much. I cherish the times I was the one to feed you, hold you, calm you. Time is a funny thing.’: Mom warns ‘it goes by so fast’

More Stories like:

“I sifted through your ‘important things’ bin today. Stashed under my bed, I have been tossing artwork and birthday cards and trinkets in there for years. I found your hospital bracelet from the day you were born.

I placed it in my palm and circled it back together, held it in the place where the nurse snipped it off and released you to me—in a way, for forever, but also for only a short time.

I miss you already.

It seems funny to say that when you’re sitting right in front of me. But it wasn’t so long ago that you couldn’t sit at all. You learned how to do that, and then you learned how to do everything—to crawl and walk and run and jump. And sing and dance and climb.

You used to need me so much. You’d cry in the middle of the night, and even though I’d groan (and sometimes say a bad word under my breath), I sincerely cherished the times I was the one who fed you, who held you, who calmed you. It felt like an eternity before you slept through the night, but when I think back, it seems like only a brief moment in my life. Time is a funny thing.

I miss you already.

How can I miss you? You’re not gone. Oh, but it’s coming. I know it. I feel it. Right around the corner are the days of Halloween parties in place of trick or treating. New Year’s Eve sleepovers with friends in place of sipping sparkling cider in your footie pajamas. Birthday shopping sprees in place of themed parties with treat bags.

I miss you already.

Courtesy of Ashley Ernstberger

Climbing on your dad’s back for a transport to your bed will get awkward. You’ll paint your own fingernails and will have your own lip gloss to wear—no need to swipe any from me. And before I know it, when I am the least ready as I’ll ever be, your bright blue and pink roller skates will no longer be your favorite set of wheels.

Instead of a First Communion dress—it will be a prom dress.

And then maybe a wedding dress.

How I miss you already.

I knew from the beginning that you were going to grow. I wanted you to grow. But I had no idea how it would simultaneously thrill me and rip me to pieces watching you do it. Parenting is full of these paradoxes. A day can feel as long as a year, and year can pass in the blink of an eye. Everyone you meet will tell you this…from the little old ladies you stand with in line at the grocery store to the women who greet you at church to the mom shopping for jeans with her teenager.

‘It just goes by so fast.’

I heard this phrase so often, and I smiled through gritted teeth as I watched you lick the handle of the shopping cart. I smiled when I wanted to cry as you broke something while we were browsing at the store. I smiled when I was counting down the minutes to nap time and the hours to bedtime. I smiled and nodded, but I didn’t really get it then. Until one day when it all clicked.

I miss you already.

So tonight, while you were sleeping, I went to your room and counted your freckles. I gently tangled my fingers in your curls. I listened to you breathe. I sat beside your bed and tried to meet you in your dreams. We laughed and sang in silly voices and ate lots of ice cream and went to Disney World until it was time for me to go to my own room.

I whispered, ‘I love you,’ in your ear. ‘I miss you already, my baby.'”

From podcasts to video shows, parenting resources to happy tears – join the Love What Matters community and subscribe on YouTube.

Courtesy of Ashley Ernstberger

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Ashley Ernstberger of Muncie, Indiana, and originally appeared here. You can follow her journey on her blog and Facebook. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more touching stories like this:

‘You hold on tight. Somehow 20 years isn’t enough. When it’s time for them to go, it all hits you like a ton of bricks.’: Mom of teens urges us to ‘soak it all in’ during younger parenting years

‘I’d like to publicly apologize to our Red Robin hostess. She didn’t know she was the last straw.’: Mom breaks down at Red Robin after dropping off son at college

‘I’m sorry I was a jerk. When the house is dark, I watch you breathe. I wonder if you know how much I love you.’: Mom feels guilt for being ‘imperfect,’ hopes kids know ‘I am yours, for the long haul’

Spread beauty and strength for others. SHARE this story on Facebook with family and friends.

 Share  Tweet

Queries: 112 Timer: 0.12290

Cache Hits: 2546 Cache Misses: 325