My dear son,
In this chunky, well-worn boardbook there’s an echo from this story that used to be our snuggling, whispering bedtime. The tale of little bunny who’s gone running from his mother, and she chasing his silliness to keep him near… now these sticky-fingered pages have some tiny salty stains, because that childhood tale has deepened in its meaning.
I remember the first moments of looking at your squishy, heaven-kissed face, and wondering what the future would hold. I knew what I had planned, but didn’t allow my mind to wander to the places that weren’t included in my dream.
From the second you made me a mom, I knew motherhood was my favorite. I knew I would serve to you every wisdom I could impart, and stretch myself to be the springboard for your greatest opportunities. That was it, right? You raise them right, and they grow up to be everything you dreamed for them.
I never realized how many times my heart would break for you, how many tears I would swallow in the late hours of your innocent sleep.
Your years have taught me many things, like how invincible I’m not, how much patience I still have to be grown, and how desperately little control I have over this life. I have felt how love can be so big it doesn’t even fit into the boundaries of a soul, and how a proud mama’s heart can seem to swell so big it’s spilling out the exhales.
I have always convinced myself that if your dad and I were doing the best that we knew how, God would work out the rest; that you would be kept in His grasp and the chasms of my shortfalls would be filled. I will never stop believing that.
I won’t ever love you any less than that first time my lips met your cotton candy cheeks. I hope that deep down there is a part of you that knows that is truth.
I was vastly unprepared for this season in our lives. Unprepared and quite possible very naïve. My supermom strategies seem worthless puffs of air in the gravity of these days we have staggered into.
In every uncertainty, I maintain a hope that these shatters are pieces of bigger and more beautiful picture; a healing of your wounded heart, and a redemption of your deepest dreams. I know that I know that I know you will always be held, no matter where your heart is leading you.
Don’t ever think my prayers for you have ceased… on my knees, in my shower, in the dusting, and the laundry; there are prayers whispered earnest, tucked in towel folds, stirred in soup.
I will continue to be your harbor, ready to anchor whenever you need a safe place. I will still be your favorite cook and your biggest fan. I will listen to our song again and again, and remember you dancing me around the living room to its words. Jacob and Mommy’s song
I will love you. Forever. Always. From the bottom of the ocean to the top of the sky.
“If you become a bird and fly away from me,” said his mother, “I will be a tree that you come home to.”
– Margaret Wise Brown, The Runaway Bunny