For nine months, your mother was all you knew.
Before I held you in my arms, your mother held you and never let you go.
Before I sacrificed time for you, your mother gladly sacrificed her body.
Before I consoled you when you were upset, your mother consoled you with just the beat of her heart.
Before I comforted you when you were restless, your mother comforted you with just the sound of her voice.
Before I could do anything for you, your mother gave everything for you.
Your mother is the reason I hold you today.
Before you were even a twinkle in my eye, you were in your mother's heart. Your life, your safety, and your very existence depended on her. Something I'll never be able to repay.
It will take a long time for you to understand the weight, the depth and the immeasurability of your mother's love for you. But someday, when you have children of your own, you will understand what I now see so clearly.
So, I'll hold you tight. But I'll hold your mother tighter because my love for you grows the more I understand the measure of a mother's love.
This essay was previously published here.