He is still my little boy. He frowns when he needs to brush his teeth, he won’t go to bath until my last, frantic, primal scream, he still waits for me devotedly every night so that we go to sleep together, and all the time he lies patiently while I put the baby to sleep and move to his bed to talk a bit before the sleep.
I see him grow, I sense the man in which he will turn someday, probably tomorrow already, while I say how it is not fair that it has already happened, and the little feet that he asked me to cuddle become big and impatient to leave as far away from me as possible.
I might be one of those moms who hang jealously on his shoulders at his wedding, sobbing and jealously looking at the woman who is taking him away from him, I might even, in a complete state of frenzy, think of various trickery against the miserable girl and test which one of us he loves more… I might hold for days before cleaning the cup he drank his tee from the last time he visited me, keep his stuff jealously and wait for him at the window for days to come back to me. Or, I might pretend to be sick just to summon him.
For now, he is still my boy. Every day before taking him to school, he asks me to tell him when I will pick him up, sharp, to the second, and squeezes my hand while we walk and I see that he is scared of everything new that awaits for him somewhere out there, with his big, oversized eyes that spark from tears, he begs me every time to leave him at home, at least for a little while, at least for a day, for an hour… and I don’t allow it… while everything falls apart inside me. I push him out of the nest determinedly, well-spirited and smiling, so that he, God forbid, does not see, does not feel, does not realize that I am also scared, a lot scared, a lot more than him, to let him go and leave one day.
I watch him, as he jumps into my arms, as he holds me and grabs me with his arms, how big he is already. I can often hardly keep my balance while I hug him and I struggle to lift him and hold him as long as possible, while he devotedly entrusts me all his weight.
He asks a lot of questions. I see how his mind develops, the way he things, the world he is interested in and I see that future man who is approaching me.
The way he plays with his toys, stuffed animals he sleeps with since he was born and worries if they are in their place, in bed, the way he communicates with his sisters, all tell me that this man is slowly coming.
And I am waiting for him, from this side, all terrified that he will come too soon, that he will completely show up even tomorrow, and that I will be watching him standing next to me, while he holds my weight in a hug, and I cannot stop wondering whether I will recognize, in this man that I admire, the same kindness, sensibility and care that my boy had, that boy who held my hand firmly on the way to school.