It's not your birthday or a special occasion, but I still feel compelled to write to you. You are 27 months old - a toddler - officially in the "terrible two's." But you know what? Things aren't so terrible. In fact, they are quite wonderful. You
are wonderful. And that is why I am writing you. So that you know how wonderful I think you are and how much I love you.
Did you know that mommy rocked you in your rocking chair until you were 26 months old? Yes I did. I rocked you in that rocking chair from the day you came home from the hospital until just a few weeks ago. We rocked together every evening for 20 minutes and then I would put you to bed in your crib. I did this even as I wondered whether we were exceeding the weight limit for that rocking chair and even as I struggled to cradle your legs as they dangled far over the arm of the chair. I told myself that you
wanted to be rocked each night. That you
wanted to lay your head down on my chest. That you
wanted me to cuddle you.
But the truth is that you probably would have been content to go to sleep without all that rocking a long time ago. It was me. I wanted all those nights in the dark, cuddling together, reciting nursery rhymes, talking about our day.
The last week that we used the rocking chair was last month. It just happened. You decided it was time to sleep in your "big" bed in your new room. You left your crib behind without a second thought - and with it, you left behind our rocking chair. You didn't need it anymore. It was almost like you had forgotten all about it.
I kept thinking you would ask for me again - and the rocking chair - but you haven't.
I think about our rocking chair every night. I see it when I close my eyes at night.
You are growing up. Faster than I could ever imagine. You are more a boy than a baby. You are changing. Your baby speak is getting less babyish. You are a phenomenal, sensitive, beautiful child. And I am happy to meet this new, loving boy.
But no one told me that a mother's heart could ache, even when everything is so good and perfect. Or that motherhood would be filled with good-byes. Or that the thought of a rocking chair could plague me for weeks during my second year of motherhood.
You may be growing up, but you will always be my baby. With or without the rocking chair.