I’m letting go but I’m holding you close.
Arching your back as the sun sleeps, begging me, pleading as you can do at two years old, for your nightly “dinky duss.”
For all 842 days and nights of your life, it’s been this way. Except for this unexceptional, anticlimactic night upon which I’ve decided to move on.
Tonight I’m saying no to your favourite resting place, against my breast, as the moon turns over to the sun’s morning light. Tonight I’m saying no, as your tears soak my right shoulder, petting at my collarbone, tugging at my heart.
For 842 days I’ve nursed to comfort you. Upon every whimper and every cry, my body was yours alone.
For 842 nights I woke for you, three to five times, easy.
But I’m pulling back.
Though you’ll see I’m still here, for all your snuggles after you reopen the scabs on your knees. I’m still here for when your sister won’t share her toys, when you can’t keep up with the rest, and for when the cat scratches your innocent pudgy hands.
I’m still here. And the gift of my time remains the same. I am still yours.
But I no longer feel the fuzz of your baby hair atop your head with my chin, or hold the warmth of your hand reaching softly for my face. I no longer feel those warm and fuzzies at all. Instead, everything has become mechanical, maniacal even, and so, we both deserve to let this go.
You ought never to represent resentment. And so, we turn over to a new page.
And I will miss this part, but I will not mourn it. We’ve had 842 days and nights, more than enough time to make a memory. More than enough to remember the gift that was.
It’s been enough.
And so, I trudge on, against your will and throughout your whimpering pleas. I do so without regret, without wavering. I have given you so much, each day and each night.
I have given you enough of me.
And soon enough you won’t remember this was the staple in your life. Soon enough, more time will have been freed for other passions run amuck, and you’ll be running wild again- and we’ll both be set free.
I am your mother, but I am me, too. And my me is giving myself this permission.