18 years gone,
a huge chapter in your life and mine
come to an end,
It’s not the hard won parenting victories
Not the completed homework
Or the cleaned room,
Not the polite words
at just the right time,
Or the dishes rinsed and put away.
It isn’t the emptied laundry basket,
Or the mowed lawn,
Or any of the thousands of other things that
Seemed important once.
What cracks my heart in two
with almost more love than
I can bear
Is the way your sticky little hand would
reach for mine
when we walked down a crowded street,
The way your mop of hair smelled after a bath,
The way you cheered for your sister the day she was born,
The chocolate kisses, the imaginary friends,
The heaviness of your sleep.
And I love you all the more for the
Times that you made me crazy;
For the thousands of legos on your bedroom floor every day,
And the last minute projects that required obscure supplies
that should have been purchased weeks in advance,
For all of the lost items,
And mischievous moments.
My throat catches now when I see the way your forehead smoothes when
You sleep and conjures up the face of the baby
I dreamed of even before you were born.
And I don’t know how to make sense of the grown man
I see before me.
If I shut my eyes, you will be nestled in
With me on the couch reading one
Last chapter before bed
While I thank whatever gods
For the gift of being your Mom.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photos: Provided by author