An Open Letter to My Toddler

You cried for me last night. This wasn’t a normal cry, but a cry that I felt in my heart and in my bones. It was a cry for me, your mama, and I knew it.

I went into your room and you immediately stood. Your hair was stuck to your face from the tears and still crying, you reached out to me. I picked you up, held you close and walked to the rocker. As we sat down, I put you on my lap and held you to my chest while we rocked. You were warm and starting to cool down; I was afraid that you had a bad dream.

The movie Tarzan popped into my head and I sang to you. “Come stop your crying, it’ll be alright. Just take my hand, and hold it tight. I will protect you from all around you. I will be here, don’t you cry.”

And you did stop crying. I knew you were soothed enough to go back to sleep, but knowing how precious these moments are, I continued to rock with you. We sat there, just you and I, leaning on one another.

I held my hand out and you grabbed it, playing with my fingers and turning my hand over, again and again. I looked at your small hand in mine, seeing how perfect and calm you were. Your once wet hair became wet again, only this time from my tears.

I will miss the nights that you cry for me specifically. I will miss the screaming and tantrums that often bring frustration. I will miss the sound of tiny feet running on the hardwood floor. I will miss the fit of giggles that come after the dog runs for his toy. I will miss being needed and loved in the way that only a toddler could need and love. I will miss the mess, the tears, and the fits because one day, I know the house will be empty. No more giggles. No more tiny feet.

I know the days are long and years are short, I’ve already found that to be true. While I am sad to see the nights leave us where you once sat in my lap as I kissed your tears away, I am excited to see who you will become. You, my little toddler, will be amazing. I pray that your confidence and spirit remain strong and that you know that no matter how old you are, I will always be there to hold you.

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