If I close my eyes, I see you as you emerged from my womb, brow furrowed and wailing.
If I close my eyes, I am still overcome with wonder at the human we created
If I close my eyes, your determined toddler face emerges as you attempted to navigate a vast and intimidating world.
If I close my eyes, I feel your small hand in mine as we descended the ramp to your kindergarten classroom, vividly recalling the emptiness when your fingers unclasped mine.
If I close my eyes, I glimpse your back as you triumphantly pedaled away from me without training wheels.
If I close my eyes, I feel the tug at my heart when you failed and my only option was to love you through the pain.
If I close my eyes, I am enveloped in the contentment of simply watching you deep in slumber.
If I close my eyes, I recall the way your face lit up when you succeeded at a task you once perceived impossible.
If I close my eyes, I am still awed at the way you opened up like a flower to the sun amongst your friends.
If I close my eyes, I recall the strength in a hug and encouraging words when you needed a boost.
If I close my eyes, I am gripped in fear for your future full of big decisions and independence.
If I close my eyes, I see, like a slide show, all the milestones and firsts become lasts as the time comes for you to leave home.
If I close my eyes, I am caught up in your joy as you prepare to face the world head-on, brave and undaunted.
If I close my eyes, perhaps I can stop this tear from falling with the realization that I succeeded at the most important and fulfilling job in the universe.
Maureen Stiles writes at her blog, Magnificence in the Mundane, where she chronicles the beauty within the chaos of raising three boys and a dog with her husband, given that the dog is the only one that really understands her. You can also follow Maureen on Facebook and Twitter.