We sat side by side as the chair lift made its way up the hill. The sun was shining down on us helping to make it an even more perfect day. He pointed out which hill he wanted to try next. He told me what his plan was to conquer the tougher hill and where he struggled on the last run down.
It was my first time introducing him to skiing and I was so excited to share it with him.
We spent an entire day enjoying each other’s company. We had fun. We laughed and there were some tears. We had a real life conversation, very different from the conversations I used to have with him as a toddler.
And just like that it hit me.
My little boy is gone.
I don’t know when it happened. It seems like one day I woke up to a round little sleepy face and the next day I woke up to a tall, thin and gangly big boy.
Wasn’t it just yesterday that he padded down the stairs, rubbing his blankey under his nose, asking to watch Shrek while he ate his waffles and blueberries? I always loved that Shrek was his favourite movie. I didn’t have to suffer through Thomas the Tank Engine and he didn’t beg to watch The Lion King or Cars but he could recite every single word of Shrek.
The way he used to play with his little animal figures and make them run along the ground without even noticing that I was there used to melt my heart.
I remember the way he felt, squished up beside me in bed, head on my shoulder listening to bedtime stories. He was so soft and so warm and he always smelled so good.
Sitting on that chair lift I realized that I have said goodbye to my little boy forever.
Luckily I set a foundation when he was just a baby and although things have changed permanently so much is still the same.
I haven’t watched Shrek in years but I love spending hours on the couch with a bowl of popcorn between us watching Harry Potter.
His little wooden farm along with the tiny farm animals are long gone but they have been replaced by a WWE wrestling ring and some scary looking wrestling figures. He still doesn’t even realize that I’m around when he’s acting out wrestling matches with his guys.
One of my favourite things to do is cuddle up under the covers, in comfy pj’s right before bed and read. He’s no longer squished up beside me, head on his shoulder listening to me read but he still finds himself a cozy spot right next to me and while I read my latest library find he giggles his way through Diary of Wimpy Kid.
The soft sweet flowery smell of baby powder and Vaseline has been replaced by something of a mix of rubber, dirt and not-so-little boy sweat.
It was during our quiet mornings together, surrounded by coffee and waffles with blueberries that we used to have our best talks.
We still have our best talks in those quiet moments be it at the breakfast table in the early morning light or on the chair lift during afternoons spent doing something we love together.
Toddler life has given way to exciting adventures. He makes me proud when I see him push himself and he makes me push myself in ways that I never thought possible.
While I have said goodbye to my baby, I am getting to know this wonderful big boy who has taken his place. This boy who stole my heart from the moment he entered my life continues to steal my heart every single day and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us next.
Author: Natalie Romero
Natalie wishes she lived in a world where chocolate and Netflix marathons were a part of a healthy lifestyle. Since that’s not going to happen she balances it all with the occasional salad and trip the gym. An HR professional by day and a freelance writer by night, Natalie is learning that balancing motherhood with two careers can be a great juggling act and finding time for anything in between can be tough.
Always a storyteller, Natalie is a feature blogger at Yummy Mummy Club, Oh Baby Magazine and Tales from Mummy Land and is also a regular contributor at Huffington Post. Keep up with her as she blogs her way through the crazy beautiful life of a working mother just trying to have it all.