Motherly Collective

To my son,

I know you won’t always need me, but today you do. As I lay down next to you after tucking you into bed, I try cherishing every moment. As I watch you fall peacefully asleep, I know that these moments are brief and, unfortunately, can’t last forever. There will come a day where you won’t need me to lay next to you or wait by your bed until you fall asleep.

I know that day is probably coming a lot sooner than I can even wrap my head around. I know your mom and I are raising you to be an independent little boy, but deep down, I am holding onto these fading seconds where you constantly look for me to make sure I’m close by.

I remember the day you were born. I can remember holding you, only a few hours old, while your mom slept. I could not wait to experience life with you. I wondered what you would look like with your football helmet on. I pictured you playing your very first guitar chord. I had no idea how fast life was going to fly by. You are now a toddler, and those initial moments feel so long ago! I still see that same little face, but I also see how as each day passes, you are growing up so fast.

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A few days ago, you asked that we put your toddler bed in your room. For two years, you slept in the same room as your mom and me. I won’t lie son, there were some nights that were so rough that I could not wait for you to be in your own room—but this day snuck up on me before I even knew it. As you fell asleep that first night in your own room, my eyes filled with tears as I realized that you are growing up. So fast. You are definitely that independent little boy your mom and I hoped you would be, but I don’t know that my heart is ready for it.

I can’t help but think about how fast these next few years will fly by. Everyone always warns new parents to cherish every fleeting moment because they will be gone in the blink of an eye, but nothing can actually prepare you for it. You’ll understand when you have your own kids someday, and hopefully you’ll think of your old dad that day as well.

Saying you won’t need me someday isn’t exactly true—you just won’t need me like you do now.

So much of me is clinging to these moments. I dread the day where you no longer are waiting at the door for me when I get home. Or when I am no longer spending the very second I get home all the way up until you close your eyes playing toys with you. Being a parent is exhausting, but on nights like tonight, I know just how worth it it all is.

I also know that saying you won’t need me someday isn’t exactly true—you just won’t need me like you do now. Someday you’ll ask me how to tie a tie, how to drive a car or for help with that Algebra homework (which I’ll pretend I know what I’m doing while having absolutely no clue!).

I am excited to see who you will become as you get older. What your hobbies or interests will be. Whether you choose to be a fan of mine or your mom’s favorite football team. I am excited to walk you into your preschool class.

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I know there are still so many memories for us to make. I know there are so many special moments to be had. But, as I lay here on the floor next to your bed, I will cherish this moment. I hope someday when you are all grown up, you read this and realize just how much I love you and how happy you have made your mom and me. We could not picture our lives without you.

Some days, the terrible twos are REAL with you, but nights like tonight make those toddler moments all worth it. I know someday, my shirts won’t be all stretched out from you pulling on them, asking me to play with you. I know someday you won’t need me. But today, today you do—and I’m so glad you do.

This story is a part of The Motherly Collective contributor network where we showcase the stories, experiences and advice from brands, writers and experts who want to share their perspective with our community. We believe that there is no single story of motherhood, and that every mother's journey is unique. By amplifying each mother's experience and offering expert-driven content, we can support, inform and inspire each other on this incredible journey. If you're interested in contributing to The Motherly Collective please click here.