I wake like this every morning: the first sounds I hear are my seven-year-old’s footsteps in the hallway as he makes his way to our room. He jumps on me, sharp elbows in my ribs, head butting against my chest, my chin, my nose. Then he settles and we breathe quietly under the covers together, his sweet, warm breath on my neck. I stroke his hair, kiss his forehead, rub the small of his back.
“Some day,” I tell him, “you will not want to cuddle with me anymore. And when I’ll want to hug and kiss you, you’ll say ‘Eww, Mom, leave me alone, that’s so gross!’”
Sam laughs. He’s heard this before. “No, mama! I will always want to kiss you.”
I wait for the time when I am not going to be kissed anymore. I know it will happen, this separation, in tiny, sharp increments. None of it is unexpected but still, every tiny tear in our bond is a shock to the system.
I am not ready.