Wearing a robe ready to jump in the shower, I was confronted with a distraught four-year-old, his arms reaching up and crying, "Mama, pick me up." Now almost five, I hadn't seen him this way in a long while. As I scooped him up, he buried his face in my neck and clung to me tightly. I remained silent, allowing his tears to flow, gently swaying from one foot to the other. After a few minutes, his cries slowly began to subside, but his grip remained tight.
I then caught our reflection in the mirror, and I was transfixed. There we were, as we had been countless times before - mother and child, giving and receiving comfort - yet this time he wasn't the tiny armful of chubby deliciousness he once was. Now over half my size, a boy with gangly limbs and a head full of curly hair was clinging to me. And although my eyes could see how big he was in that mirror, my arms could feel how little he still was in that embrace. He was my baby. The baby I have held onto since he was born.
And in this moment captured, I was reminded... my body knew that he needed me, my heart knew that he loved me, my soul knew that he was a part of me, and my mind knew that, no matter how much he grew, "picking him up" was something I was going to have the honor of doing for many years to come.