I hear your requests all day, every day. They’re like little birds chirping in my ears. I’m with you when you wake up and ask for breakfast, I’m with you when you’re tired after playing and want to rest, I’m with you when you wash up after a long day before you protest bed.
When we’re at the park, I know what I’ll hear before I say we have to go. “Mom, can I do the monkey bars one more time? Can we stay, just one more minute?”
Honestly, it usually frustrates me. Because we have to go. We have errands to run or chores to get to at home. We need to do pickup or cook dinner. We have our lives to live. We can’t stay at the park all day. When you don’t listen and we have to move onto the next thing, sometimes I want to yell. Or cry. Or sit down and give up.
When we’re trying to get out the door on time, I always hear, “Mom, I’m just finishing this drawing, okay? One more minute?”
When I ask you to get out of the bath, so we can move onto stories and bedtime, I can guarantee what you’re going to say. “Mom, I’m just finishing this game with my mermaid. One more minute. Pleeeease?”
When I get up out of your twin-sized bed, after lying with you so you’ll calm down for bed, I can mouth the words as you say them. I know exactly what’s going to happen. “Mommy, lie back down. For one more minute, okay?”
I’m in my head and running through my to-do list and sometimes my stress screams at me louder than your requests. So sometimes I tell you “no.” No, I can’t do it for another minute. Not even one more second. Because I have to get to the next thing—I have so much stuff to do, so much to get done. I couldn’t possibly do this for one more minute.
But today, after looking through photos of you from this summer and all our adventures, thinking about you starting kindergarten in a few weeks, I know just how you feel when you ask me that question.
Because now I want to ask you that same question.
So, to you—my big kid who I can still see crawling around the house, who I can still feel lying sound asleep on my chest, who I can still remember meeting for the first time on the day you were born. To you I ask, could you stay with me, by my side, just as you are—for one more minute, please?
Could you snuggle up next to me and fall asleep in the curve of my hip where only you can fit, for just one more minute?
Could you look at me with wonder in your eyes, hanging on my every word as if they are the most important sounds you’ll ever hear, for just one more minute?
Could you call me “Mama” instead of “Mom” for just one more minute?
Could you let me hold you in my arms, in the quiet evening hours, and rock you sleep singing your favorite song, for just one more minute?
Could you giggle uncontrollably over our silly inside jokes for one more minute?
Could you sing at the top of your lungs, without caring if you sound “good” or not—for one more minute?
Could you ask me to dance with you and sway to the beat of Hakuna Matata as we twirl in circles for one more minute?
Could you stay this little, this wide-eyed, this innocent, this playful—for just one more minute?
Before you leave me before your world widens before you find yourself not needing me to be by your side every second…
I want you to see the world and take everything it has to offer. I want you to know love the way I know it today. I want you to make best friends and go on adventures. I want you to feel your soul light up when you’re doing what your heart knows you are meant to do.
I want it all for you. And I know all of it won’t include me. I’m okay with it, and I’ll figure it out along the way.
But before you go out there, before you take on this wild and busy world… could you sit with me, right here on my lap like you’ve done so many times before, for just one more minute, please?