Tonight when E was ready for bed, he reached up to me and said "I need to be rocked for a little bit." Whenever he asks this of me (not too often, these days) I do it. I gather my first born in my arms and try to tilt him and rock him like a baby. This is increasingly awkward since he's twice as long as the tiny baby he once was (sigh). E turned three last week and I know these moments will happen less day by day: too soon he won't want me to hold him in my arms and sway gently across his bedroom floor. Tonight he asked for a song, too. "Sing 'followed by moonshadow' mommy." I love singing this beautiful Cat Stevens song to him; for a spring and a summer (over 15 years ago) I sang it every night to my best friend's son and daughter. Back then I imagined one day I could sing it to my own children, and now I do.
Singing quietly to E, I grieve a little as I look down at him. This is my moonshadow. It's the shadow of him growing up before I'm ready; of me growing old; of losing him somehow...it's always chasing me. While these thoughts flit through my head I stop and take a deep breath, and give myself a mental shake. I step back in the moment. This perfectly wondrous moment. Soaking up the beauty of my sweet boy. Gazing at his long lashes resting on his cheek. I am thankful for this amazing, precious gift I am holding in my arms and in my heart. E reminds me just to be. Present. In the moment. For this (and him) I am so grateful.