You know that book of Robert Munsch, “Love You Forever“? I don’t know how many times I have read that book to my son when he was little but today its words ring true as never before.
The other night I crept into my son’s bedroom and just watched him as he slept. His hair looked tousled and his long legs dangled off the edge of his bed. I wanted so badly to reach out my hand and touch his face remembering the chubby cheeks and dimples in his baby hood, but I held back, after all at eighteen years of age he likely would have been thoroughly creeped out! Yet as I watched him sigh in his sleep, tears welled up in my eyes, my mother’s heart softening with longing for the years when he truly needed me for everything. I remembered when only my hugs and kisses would soothe his “boo boos”, or comfort him, or encourage him. Those days are long past.
Today he walks across the stage and receives his high school diploma. He won’t admit it, he’s too cool for that, but I know he’s excited. He wouldn’t let me fuss at him when he tried on his tuxedo for the Graduation Banquet but all I could do was fuss because had I just stepped back and paused to admire him, so tall, so perfect, so grown up, I would have dissolved into tears. Fuss covers over a multitude of tears.
God gave him to me for such a short time it seems to me, a blessing immeasurable in my life. Although memories of his childhood flood over me, I know he is not a child any longer, but a grown young man, ready to tackle the world after high school. I will likely shed those multitude of tears some time over this weekend but today as I see him in his cap and gown I will say:
“I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”