As Hurricane Sandy knocked on my window, my one-year-old son was lying next to me. He clutched my side and used my belly as his pillow. In these moments, his mischief making and resistance to bedtime completely dissolve from my memory. I realize all these tender experiences – when I am his world and he is mine – are fleeting. Having a large Italian family, I am well aware that one day I’ll simply turn around and my baby boy will be a full grown man.
Yes, 20 minutes before I was writing this in my notebook, my son had me near tears because of his antics. But as his little hand held me as tight as could be, I relished the feeling. I considered the more difficult moments that lie ahead for the two of us – his quest for independence, a desire to hang with friends and forget his parents, challenges that include the sex talk and sending him off to college, we hope and pray.
As I thought more about being a mom, I realized that I would rather be sleepless because Baby Boy wants to sleep next to me than sleepless because he is a teenager missing curfew or, worse, choosing the wrong friends and taking the wrong path. Yes, I’d rather have the life we share as mother and son right now. And I don’t want to forget just how good I have it, nor do I want to take this precious and brief time for granted. Indeed, I want to make the most of it by creating a bond that will make the difficult times less difficult. I can hope, can’t I?
Di Meglio is the author of Fun with the Family New Jersey (Globe Pequot Press Travel, 2012).