It feels like just yesterday that I held you in my arms for the first time. And today, I hold you a little closer. Hug you a little tighter. Because the truth is, time is already slipping away so fast. And that scares me. This is motherhood. Beautiful and captivating, yet full of parental anxiety. One day you won’t want our sweet little cuddles—and I’ll instantly regret not holding you more often. One day, you won’t let me kiss your forehead and those big brown eyes won’t stare up at me in wonder as I sing you lullabies into the night.

One day, you won’t need me as much. I will have to release you into the world, and that brings a far greater fear than I have ever imagined.

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All I want to do is keep you protected from the weight that is becoming of this world.

Because no one told me how scary it would be to have kids. How your mind instantly becomes filled with angst and you worry about their every move. Sure, I knew how amazing it would be to carry and birth you and watch you grow right before my eyes. But no one told me that just on the other side of all those beautiful things exists a debilitating fear.

Fear for your safety—when you're with me and when you're not. Fear of whether others will protect you like I do. Fear of how people will treat you, and if they will look at you and not be able to see exactly what I see in you: A big heart filled with lots of love and curiosity for everything around you.

Parental anxiety is something I was not prepared for. I expected motherhood to be soft, but it is heavy in times such as this. Where my mind is chaos and worry overwhelms me. And all I want to do is keep you protected from the weight that is becoming of this world.

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Right now, I just wish that time would slow down. That you’d stay small for a little while longer. That you’d need me for a little while longer.

I realize as much time as I spent excited for you to meet your milestones, here I am running to collect it all back. Those nights when you were up and restless have turned into you sleeping soundly until the morning. You being carried in my arms has turned into you taking your first steps. With every growing moment, you become less dependent on me. And it saddens my heart.

I trust that you will take everything that we have taught you, and you will trailblaze the world. 

I am scared to send you out into the world, but I know that one day I will have to. I wish that it were safer for you, but the reality is that no matter how old you get, I will spend my life shielding you from the harshness that sits just outside our doorstep. I know that beyond the four walls of our home, love may not be as evident. In fact, love may not be present at all.

Because the world is an unsound place. It won’t hold you like I do. It will make you fend for yourself. But please know that no matter what, my love will always surround you and it will follow you wherever you go. And our teachings, your upbringing, will order your steps.

Related: It all goes by so fast

You will always have the proverbs and wisdom that your father and I instilled in you. And that will guide you through every journey that you embark on. And I trust that you will take everything that we have taught you, and you will trailblaze the world. 

I may not always be able to promise you safety when you’re not in my arms, but one thing I can promise you is this: My prayers are bound to you. Always. And the divine protection that I pray to cover you is far greater than I can ever provide. And even for a while, that soothes and stills my running mind.