One of my favorite humans stands less than three feet tall. Full of energy, stubbornness (he gets it from his mama), and a smile that can melt your heart in an instant.
He is my boy and I love him something fierce.
My boy-mom badge is something that I wear proudly. I feel like it is my calling. Raising boys means creating men of the future. Men with integrity and heart. Yes, I may never know what it means to mother a girl — to have a forever-companion for shopping, pedicures, and family heirlooms. But I will know the fierce love and loyalty of a son.
There is something special about the bond between a mama and son. I waited a year and a half for those squishy little arms to wrap around my neck and squeeze me tight. Your hugs mean the world to me. Or the way you stop mid-play to walk into the kitchen because you just had to give mama a kiss. You melt my heart. You may be rowdy in your play and always seeking out the next adventure, but you have a tender spot.
You love your mama.
I know all too soon your soft skin and toddler ringlets will fade. Your sweet little voice that whispers “night night, mama” followed by a slobbery kiss will give way to facial hair and a deeper tone, but you will always be my baby.
Yes, it is true what they say: Being a boy-mom is not for the faint of heart. Boys see life through a different lens. Life is not about sitting down. To you, life is an adventure. It’s about how high you can jump or how fast you can run. It’s exploring, experimenting, and conquering. It’s dirt and bugs. Farts and boogers. It’s rough. It’s loud and wild — and I love every. minute. of. it.
Without you, I would have never learned how adventurous life can be.
How exhilarating it is to dive headfirst into a ball pit…
How fun it is to see a school bus drive down the road or an airplane fly in the sky…
How joyful it can be to run in the rain and feel the raindrops land on your cheeks…
How deeply you love and feel emotions…
How our weekend dance parties fill your heart (and mine) with so much joy and laughter…
How you notice little details and brush back my hair so you can rest your head on my shoulder…
You push me out of my comfort zone daily. You inspire my inner child.
Thank you for letting me love you so much. Thank you for forgetting the moments I suck at this. Thank you for your smiles and hugs each morning. For eating your “big” Cheetos at the table, for your sudden love of bananas because well, Jungle Book likes them so it must be cool, and for your enthusiastic belly-laughs.
I wish the world for you, love. I pray that you will always see the best in people. That you will fight to be others voices when they feel that they have none. That you will protect those who may not be able to protect themselves. Judge no one. Respect others. Lead with your head, but also your heart. Strive for joy, not perfection. Push further. Love deeper and always, always be kind.
Your reach is limitless and I can’t wait to see who you become. Raising you is both an honor and a privilege — and, I am so so proud to be your mama.
Thank you for broadening my world and restoring my faith. Without you, I would have missed just how beautiful it is to see things through the eyes of a little boy.
I love you, bug.
This story originally appeared on They Whine, So I Wine