Sometimes my 3YO son looks at me defiantly and utters threats like next time I go peepee I am not going to hold down my penis.
Sometimes he runs fast and far away from me screaming joyfully you can't catch me!
Sometimes he gazes up at me with his puppy dog eyes and with arms outstretched says I love you mommy.
It is in those quieter moments that I am allowed to hold him close, enveloping him with the entirety of my love, my heart beating reassuringly against his, our bodies fused together once more.
These moments seem to be happening more frequently lately, and yet I linger in each and every one of them, all too aware of how fleeting this time is - this time of delightful squishy-ness, of hugs that happen four feet off the ground, of a sweet-smelling head resting on my broad shoulders. My 6YO is all elbows and knees and muscle these days, as likely to impale me as she is to hug me when she comes in for a snuggle. As I rub the musculature of my son's legs I know that that will soon be the case for him as well. Maybe, on the brink of childhood, he too senses this impending separation and is soaking up as much of my gravity-defying love as he can.
And so here I am, with open arms, ready to hug, to carry, to slowdance for as long as my arms and back can hold out. Loving him as my last baby and letting him go to grow up. It is so very bittersweet.