"Mami will you tell me a story?" The young child asked with wide glittering blue eyes. Mami chuckled with a kind sparkle in her matching eyes. "Which one hijo?" She asked stroking his blonde hair out of his eyes with her delicate hand. "The one about growing up." He said puffing out his chest so he looked big and strong and laughing soon after. Mama chuckled under her breath.
"Of course." She smiled. "Yay!" He said "I love your stories Mami! They're the best!" Mami smiled even more. "Just settle down." She said. Mami watched as her son scrambled into bed. He pulled the blanket over him so hard his feet stuck out. Mami covered his feet with the blanket with a dazzling chuckle. She sat down next to him and began her story.
"Once upon a time there was a...rabbit!-A wabbit!?-Yes, a wabbit. This rabbit was just like you. Every Morning he would bush his buck teeth.-Like my teeth.- Yes, your mouth is very holey at the moment. Every morning the tiny rabbit would slip on his coat and sneakers and chomp down his break fast.
But everytime Little Rabbit left for school Mami Rabbit paced the halls of her empty home until finally it was time Little Rabbit came home-Did they live in a burrow or a house?-I think a burrow suit them best. She hopped in her car and drove to go get her baby.
Once home Little Rabbit would go straight to bed for Mama Rabbit to sing him a song. Little Rabbit took up the first half, "Let's go down to the forest or wander into the sea, 'cause when today finally ends will you still love me?". Mami Rabbit smiled and began singing in a soft velvety voice, "Let's get tucked into bed now, the sun has it's sleepiness too. When today starts all again I will still love you. I will always love you." Little Rabbit didn't hear the last verse because he was sound asleep on his mother's lap. Mami Rabbit tucked her baby into bed and kissed him gently on his head.
Mami Rabbit did this every night, then every other night, then once a week, then once a month. She did it until Little Rabbit was old enough to move out-Why would he want to do that?-I don't know hijo, but soon she wandered the halls of her empty home and realized this time her baby might not come back.
She waited and waited and got older and older and watched and watched. One day her baby did come back, with his own baby. She sang his baby her song and with a smile realized her son had grown up. And for forever she was happy."
Mami finished with a dreamy sigh and tucked her sleepy baby boy in bed and gave him a kiss on his head "Can you do this forever?" He asked. "Of course." Mami yawned and left for her room secretly smiling. She did this every night, then every other night, then once a week, then once a month. She did it until he was old enough to move out and soon she wandered the halls of her empty home and realized this time her baby might not ever come back.
She was worried. Then happy. Then scared. Then she just smiled no matter what because that's what he needed.
Mami watched him grow up from the sidelines. Watched him live his life. Watched him not need her anymore. Watched him get married and adopt his children. She watched those babies grow up and she watched them move on.
Mami waited and waited and coughed and coughed and faded and faded. One day he did come back but not with his child or his husband. He came back to say to say goodbye. He sat beside her bed and sighed. For a long time he did not talk, then Mami talked.
"Good morning hijo." Mami said. He smiled weakly. "Do you remember me?" He asked. "Yes, you must be the child that I watched grow up all those years ago." She said. "Mami is this the end?" He asked. "The end of what hijo?" Mami asked. "The end of the story?" He explained.
"Yes." She coughed. "But all your stories had happy endings." He said with creased eyebrows. "You do not understand." Mami smiled, "This is the end of my story, this is the beginning of yours. Hijo you are wrong, I do have a happy ending, I got to watch you grow up and turn into who you are today.
"What is my daughter needs you?" He asked. "Your daughter has you, and you're a gift." Mami smiled.
"But what if I need you?" He choked. "You don't need me anymore." Mami said. "But I do." He said. "You stopped needing me a while ago and I was just there along for the ride hijo. And I'll always keep an eye out for you." Mami said.
"How can you keep me safe if you're gone?" He asked. "I will never truly be gone which is why you will always be loved." Mami said.
He pondered in his thoughts for something anything that would remind her. "Let's go down to the forest or wander into the sea, 'cause when today finally ends will you still love me." He sang softly. Mami smiled, their old song. "Let's get tucked into bed now, the sun has it's sleepiness too. When today starts all again I will still love you..."Mami faded and faded and finally left. "I will always love you." He finished for her.
The grown up son kissed her on her wrinkly head and left. The boy grew up into something a man and the man grew into a loving person. In a way we never stop growing, so in a way we never stop loving, so in a way we are always loved. And that's just growing up.
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