When you didn’t need me anymore, then I understood

From the very beginning, Philippe was a warm and cuddly baby. He loved being held and rocked. It was new for me, because his big sister was so independent. Emma hated being rocked, had no interest in a pacifier and preferred going to sleep alone in her crib with the sights and sounds of her little aquarium mobile. I could rarely cuddle her. But my son was the total opposite.

When Philippe made the move to a big-boy bed, from the very start when he would wake up and get out of bed like the big boy he was, he would come and find me. He would get into bed and cuddle next to me for a few minutes. I rubbed his back, smoothed his hair, gave him a massage… he would stay still and enjoy this quiet time.

He didn’t go and see his dad or his sister for these morning cuddles. He chose (to my great joy) his mom. This ritual lasted for years. When I heard the sound of his little feet hitting the floor, I knew he was on his way. I’m an early riser, and sometimes I’d wake up and then go back to bed, knowing he’d be up in a few minutes. But don’t tell him that! Those moments with him were precious to me.

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One morning, he didn’t come and find me. I told myself he had forgotten. The next day, when he got up, he went and joined his sister in the living room. Without admitting it, I knew it, and felt it deep down inside. When it happened on the third day, I couldn’t deny it anymore. Our morning ritual had ended. Philippe was getting older and didn’t need this little moment with his mother anymore.

The day he stopped his morning visits, I learned an important lesson. The way that we react to situations has a great impact on how things flow from there.

Of course, my mommy heart felt a little pang (okay, a big pang) because I wasn’t quite ready for this step, and it’s often in these moments that we wish we could have had just one more morning so we could have soaked up all the love just one last time. But at the same time, our role as parents is to guide our children towards independence. Philippe simply didn’t need me anymore, and it was a step in the right direction.

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It would have been easy to feel sorry for myself, crying over the end of such a special chapter in my life as a mother. But we can choose how we react to situations like these. So I chose to play another card – gratitude. For over 2000 mornings, Philippe chose me. More than two thousand doses of love. More than two thousand moments of pure joy.

What an incredible gift.

Thank you, Philippe, for these moments, these memories, this lesson.

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