My Baby Boy Is No Longer A Baby

teresa maxwell blog

My son, Chase, will graduate from high school this May and head off to college in the fall. For so many years this day has seemed like a distant future but now it is suddenly here. Where has the time gone? It truly seems like just yesterday he was a baby in his crib yelling “Billllyeeeeee” early in the morning to wake us up. (He did this because he heard me yell down the hall at my husband, Billy, instead of walking into the other room)

I think about his first day of Kindergarten and how annoyed he was with his dad, his Nana, his brother and me hovering around taking pictures when he was ready for us to leave. I have so many memories of his class trips to Disneyland or Silver Dollar city listening to him sing with his soft soprano voice (which is now a very manly baritone).

No more school pictures, no more school dances or permission slips to sign. He doesn’t even need me when he visits the doctor anymore. He gets to sign his own paperwork! I have spent the last 12 years logging memories of each grade and now I’m done. How can that be?

I am so proud of the man my son has become. He is kind, thoughtful, and obedient. My prayer is for him to see all of his goals achieved and all of his heart’s desires fulfilled. I want him to be independent and have adult experiences. His entire life, I have been preparing him for this moment. However, now that it is here, all I can focus on are the moments I will never get back.

I will never again hear that little voice whimper “Mommy” at the edge of the bed in the middle of the night when he has had a bad dream. No more middle school sleepovers with smelly boys in a tiny room playing video games all night long and leaving food crumbs all over the floor. I won’t be able to force him to tag along on family vacations.

When your baby is a baby, you feel like you have an eternity to cuddle and cherish him. Then you get busy with work and life. I remember so many times when Chase said, “Let’s go outside” or “Do you want to play a game” but I was tired and said “maybe later”. If only I could go back in time, I would say yes to every bedtime story. Yes to every bike ride or walk to the neighborhood pool.

I have no regrets in the way I nurtured, Chase. I stand by the values I have instilled in him. My biggest regret is not taking every single moment to heart. Even the little moments that didn’t seem like much at the time.

I should probably point out that as I’m writing this I have a river of snot flowing down my face. My eyes are almost swollen shut from crying. How will I make it through the actual graduation ceremony?

I know that every generation warns the next generation that “life is short” or “kids grow up so fast” but I can’t stress enough how true that really is. For the first time, when I say this...I’m sincerely saying it from the bottom of my heart and soul. Cherish every moment, every snuggle...every kiss. Mommy loves you, Chase. Now go take on the world!

Teresa Maxwell