Wyatt and I were inseparable for the nine months that I carried him. Then he was born and began a journey independent of me.
Right now, the signs of separation are small.
He can roll onto his stomach without help in the blink of an eye. He grunts to let me know he doesn't want to get dressed or go to sleep. He is getting his first teeth and discovering new tastes like sweet potatoes and squash.
These phases are as exciting for me as they are for him, but I also feel sad. Days will quickly add up to years and too soon he'll be a man.
Then the little hand I nuzzle while he sleeps now won't be mine to hold anymore.
It doesn't matter how far in the future all of this happens. I am already afraid of losing my baby.
Sometimes, I find myself wondering who Wyatt is going to be. As Brad Paisley says in his new song, "I'm gonna get my payback if he's anything like me."
He may be stubborn and do the opposite of everything I tell him.
In fact, he already ignores my advice. When I went back to work, he refused to sleep for my mother during the day. So I started telling him to take naps.
I stopped after several days because he wasn't listening to me anyway. Of course, then he started sleeping more.
I have a feeling that Wyatt is going to be the "you'll see" that Mama used to talk about a lot when I was being hardheaded.
If Wyatt follows in my footsteps, he will do very well in school. He'll love reading and history and avoid science and math as much as possible.
I hope Wyatt doesn't have to struggle through his classes. However, I'm not going to expect the perfect grades that I demanded of myself.
Being a smart kid isn't as easy as it seems. Your friends want to know what you made on every test. If one of them makes even a point higher than you, they're going to brag about it.
Teachers also assume that you're going to help others in the class, which means you can't ask for help yourself without feeling embarrassed.
I would rather Wyatt be a good student who makes decent grades than a know-it-all.
I don't want Wyatt to take everything too seriously, one of my biggest flaws. He'll be much happier if he's more easygoing like his dad and uncle Matt.
I won't take all of the blame if he has a temper. Zac will be as responsible for that as I am.
I will support his interest in any sport, but he won't play on a school team with my permission. No coach will ever dog cuss my son in my presence, and Wyatt will learn that a love of the game lasts a lot longer than winning.
Other than a professional athlete, Wyatt can be anything else he wants when he grows up. As long as he can pay his bills and enjoys going to work every day, I don't care if he is a farmer or a lawyer.
I am prepared for the fact that I'm not going to approve of all of his friends, and no girl will ever be good enough to date him. All I can promise is that I'll try to love anyone who genuinely loves him.
Of course, Wyatt isn't giving his future nearly as much thought as I am right now. All he knows is that he's well-fed, clean, clothed and loved.
He wakes up each morning with a smile and ends almost every day snoring softly on my shoulder.
He won't be a baby for long, but he'll always be my little chunky monkey.