Matthew has been using a soother since birth. He has steadfastly clung to a handful of beloved and well-loved "guckies" for his entire life.
I have argued with practically everyone about his use of them - a thumbsucker myself, I KNOW the immense comfort he draws and will never willingly take it from him.
Then today happened.
Matthew's care nurse - once she'd properly arranged her features after expressing shock and derision at his soother use - has expressly forbidden the use of soothers, straws or anything that involves sucking. It would render today's painful surgery futile and in all likelihood, cause more discomfort for Matthew.
Matthew kind of overheard this conversation, as it took place over top of his precious, snoozing head. So tonight, when I told him that bedtime will no longer include his gucky, he simply nodded.
Sadly. Tears shimmered. And then my wee man squared his little shoulders, stuck out a brave chin and said,
"It's ok, Mummy. I know."
And it has broken my heart. I find that I am grieving - not just the loss of his gucky for him, but also the loss of his little boyhood...for me. It's not that he's not ready to leave these precious days behind.
But me? I am not ready. Not yet.