This is motherhood these days.

As I tucked myself into bed, I pulled my blankets up to my chin. It was one of the first chilly nights of the year. First I pulled up the sheet followed by my quilt. On top of that, I pulled my down comforter in close. One. Two. Three. Three blankets felt like the magic number.

As I counted them out loud, I was instantly transported back nine years. Cole was six years old, and every night I tucked him into bed. I asked him for the magic number of blankets. Some times it was two. Sometimes it was ten. Every blanket was perfectly placed and tucked in on the sides. Once he had the magic number, he’d announce It is perfect!

Tucked beneath three blankets of my own, I could see his young face. I could hear his little voice. I was in that room with little Coley for a few minutes, and I felt every ounce of loving him as a six year old.

This is motherhood these days.

It’s always been an act of letting go, but the letting go before meant letting him find his own way. It meant letting him make mistakes. It meant letting him succeed. It meant letting go of all the nonsense like forgotten homework and bad attitudes. Letting go used to mean loving.

Letting go still means loving, but it also means actually letting go — letting go of his youth, letting go of being a mom to that little boy, letting go of him being here with me. Letting go means he is leaving me.

This is motherhood these days.

A few weeks ago I watched him bike off to homecoming. He never glanced back, and I stood at the end of the driveway long after he was out of sight. I had one thought that night.

I’ve spent my entire adult life being his mother. I got pregnant the summer after college. I don’t know what it’s like to be an adult without him. We grew up together. He grew into a teenager. I grew into a mother. And now he’s leaving.

This is motherhood these days.

When we feel things, we prepare ourselves for what we need. This is the greatest lesson I’ve learned from motherhood. This is the greatest lesson Cole has taught me.

Feeling the absence of his youth now will help me guide him. It will help me let him go. Maybe that is why the memories are so vivid. Maybe that is why there is a magic number of blankets for the chilly nights. Maybe that’s why all I want to do with my free time is soak in every ounce of time he is willing to give me.

This is motherhood these days, and the moment I get comfortable beneath the three magic blankets it will change again.

And I’ll keep loving.

And letting go.

Maybe two is the magic number now: loving and letting go. Just like Cole used to say: it is perfect.

Coley and Me

Published by Kristy

Storyteller. Copywriter. Connector. Documenting the inhales and exhales of daily live.

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