“Come closer!” he squealed, throwing the comforter over us.
Outside our tiny house on Annie’s ranch, the stars winked ice as we snuggled down deep. At home he’d stopped asking me to lay beside him at bedtime. Every night for 9 years I’d held his hand in the dark and sung him Amazing Grace.
“I need more space, Mommy. Don’t be sad, I’m just too big —or the bed’s too small.”
I’m allergic to change, which means I’m constantly having an allergic reaction. Big change, little change, any change. So of course I tried to stop the change by extending the width of Noah’s bed and making myself smaller. The black beanbag chair I pulled up close was the wrong height. As skinny as I made myself perched on the mattress seam, I couldn’t relax, and Noah took advantage of my vulnerability with a few “totally accidental” pushes.
It was my favorite part of the day, the time where I could message with my body that he was safe; where I could string together his breaths as proof that he was synched with the eternal things. He’d already internalized that reality, he didn’t need a song about it anymore.
“Just sit at the end of the bed and hold my feet, Momma.” So now I sit with my back against the cold wall, holding his feet and blessing them to always run towards peace. I smile at him in the dark.
Occasionally, like when we’re in a new place or when he’s sick as a dog, he’ll ask me to sing or he’ll whisper, “Come closer!” I think he’s doing it partly for me—to let me know he’s my baby even as he turns into a man. Forms will change, but love is never lost, and I am learning from this ten year-old soul how to embrace the ever-changing shapes of us.