In 19 days, I watched my son progress from his first shaky plank to sitting up masterfully on his own. Two weeks later — eight days after his seventh month birthday — he's become a champion crawler who's clinging on every stable (and sometimes not-so-stable) surface to pull himself up in an attempt to stand.
During the first few months of his life, people often told me how the days are long, but the years are short. But you can never really be sure how fast things would go until you a whole history blaze past you. Which is why every little second with my son is crucial.
When he struggles to climb up all over my legs and torso, when he finds himself in front of the mirror and laughs at his reflection, I debate between getting my camera to freeze the detail forever and just watch him and soak it in.
Everyone wants their turn to carry him, to change his diaper, to play with him, even just to stare at him. I reluctantly hand my baby over — but only because of my physical limitations. If I didn't have to work, I would be tempted to be alone with my son minus daddy or yaya — just the two of us enjoying each other. Given a choice, I want to hold my child forever.
Maybe I'm a loner. Perhaps I'm a masochist. You can even call me selfish for being madamot with my baby. But I can see my baby growing the way I can watch sand dripping quickly from an hourglass. In this crucial period just before he realizes all the things he can do, I want him all for myself.
I knew 8 p.m. on that Thursday, the moment he was pulled out of my belly, that he would never be completely mine anymore. But I had a window to enjoy him now that I am still everything to him, now that I can still make booboos go away, I can still make him fly, I can still do magic.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Sooner or later, my son will realize that I am a fallible human being, and there are better people to look up to. But, right now, I am his world.
What he understands is me, my voice, my scent, my milk, my cuddles. I am all he wants. Sooner or later, he'll discover everything else, and he'll spend most of his life running after all of that —and away from me.
You see, the irony is as early as now, I am teaching my son to be independent. I show him to eat on his own, play on his own, sleep on his own. I want him to chase after his dreams, whether it’s peeling the tape that’s covering the electric socket or becoming the president. To do that, I have to take a step back as early as now.
Though I want to prolong the moment when he’ll cling to my leg, I know that it's essential for him to understand that he can take on the world without always having a hand to hold.
As happy as I am to see him make his first wobbly steps, each one is also a reminder of how he will spend most of his life. He will be better because of this. He will always be my son, and I know that even as he carves out his own path, there will be instances where he'll come running back to me.
Fewer and probably farther in between, I will cherish these moments and make them last.
But let me have this moment. Let him be mine and mine alone. Just for this moment.
ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
Sasha Lim Uy eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She is a curator for Madrid Fusion Manila and currently works as managing editor for Esquire Philippines.