Mommy the Magnificent will capture the Terrific Toddler. A chase ensues where each tiny footstep is echoed on scratched hardwood floors. Mommy the Magnificent knows a great battle is at hand. Because once the Terrific Toddler is captured, Mommy the Magnificent will place the Terrific Toddler in an invisible bubble so he is never allowed to grow up. She will keep him little forever. She will protect him from the Big Bad World and never allow an ounce of harm to find the Terrific Toddler. No mean words will cross his ears. He will never face a bully. He will never have his heart broken.
We play this game almost every evening. After the work is done and the computer is closed, a rambunctious game of cat and mouse is played. I always let him escape to the safety of his castle which is a lion mat and his blankie. Because there is no invisible bubble. There is no way from stopping the inevitable. He will grow up. And there will come a day when my imagination can’t compete with the technology. I can’t compete with a little girl who he finds to be so pretty. Or a woman he chooses to marry.
Looking beyond his almost 18 months on this earth, I carry the greatest hope in the fact he will find his mate. I know our phone calls will become shorter. Our breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will cease to exist in my every day life. But I am not sad. Because I never look at him finding happiness and creating a home as a loss.
When we read “The Giving Tree,” I am always shaken into the reality. He will one day not want to climb a tree and swing from her branches. He will one day want a home. He will want love, and a wife. He will not be my little boy. One day, manhood comes a calling. As a mother, I hope I have prepared him. This is my greatest job. To teach kindness, to teach caring for others, to teach compassion and respect. I hope to teach him that strong women are not to be feared, but admired for their beauty and strength.
Today I received my third rejection letter for my first short story. It didn’t break me. It made me stronger and more determined. It made me want to write something beautiful. Tomorrow my son begins his journey outside of his family confines to a day care. He will meet little people just like him and I hope he finds friends. Because Mommy the Magnificent can’t keep him in a bubble. I can’t keep him little forever. All I can do is shelter him from the Big Bad World the best I can. When the time comes, I hope I have prepared him for the world.
And when the world says “you are not good enough,” it is my hope that he will give the world the big middle finger with every vein exploding persistence and determination, and he will say loudly “Yes I am.” Because this is who I am raising him to be.