Just this morning, Waleed ran up to me. Mama! I got an ouchie. I kneeled down with all the seriousness of a vascular surgeon. Where? He pointed to his elbow. Oh no! I exclaimed. I’ll fix it!
And then, as I had a hundred times before, I gently lifted his elbow and kissed it.
Mama? What are you doing?
Kissing it. All better now?
Mama. . . I have ouchie. He stared at me. Kiss don’t fix it.
Except not long ago, barely a second ago really, my kisses were medicinal. My kisses soothed bumps, scrapes, and pains of all varieties. My kisses stopped tears. My kisses were magic. My kisses worked. And while I knew even then how brief this moment was, the brevity is today yet again brought into full focus. That thing they call growing up. Bit by bit it happens. It always does. And it is every parent’s prayer that it always should. And as much as I know this parenthood journey is a journey in letting go, my can it land a sucker punch to the gut.