About a Boy


This is a story about a boy and his room.

When he went to sleep that night nine years ago, our first night in this house, boxes were piled high around him. Before he fell asleep, I read to him from his favorite book, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales — I’d packed it along with his teddy bear and his new checkered comforter and marked the box OPEN FIRST.

After the story, I lay next to him for awhile, the lights still on. He wasn’t ready, he said, to turn them off, or for me to go. So I pushed the hidden button on the teddy bear’s heart — the one that triggered the 30-second recording of me singing a few lines from “Help.” It had become his lullaby when he was an infant, when I was so sleep-deprived that I couldn’t remember the words to a single other song.

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way…

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I watched him as he grew sleepy. His lashes were as golden as his hair, and dipped at the ends. His skin was perfect. I knew he was halfway between the years of wide-eyed wonder and those of surly rebellion — the Time of Bliss — and I wanted to savor every moment. What a boy, I thought, what a magical nine-year-old boy. When he laughed, it made me laugh. When he cried, it made my heart ache. If he were selling dirt door to door and I’d never met him, and didn’t need any dirt — just one look at that face and I’d have bought a truckload.

We sang along, and he pushed the button over and over, until he drifted off to dreamland, and I got to work.

I’d made up my mind that I was going to unpack all the boxes in his room — so that when he opened his eyes the next morning, he’d find it entirely different from when he closed them. The six months leading up to the 1400-mile move had been hard: his father had gone ahead of us for his job, while we stayed behind to finish the school year. That winter was brutal, one of the worst in memory — one ice storm after another, followed by difficult goodbyes to friends, to teachers, to the home and the places he loved. I wanted to make him happy — to give back some of the bliss he’d given me just by being him. To create a space that he would enjoy the way he had his old room, where he acted out characters from books and assembled Lego creatures both large and small.

Fortunately, he slept like a log. I hung clothes in his closet and capes and hats on wooden pegs, put pictures on the walls, books on shelves, and toys in his red, wooden wagon. I displayed his Lego creations, stored trading cards in a shoe box under the bed, and lay his moon-and-stars rug on the floor. Over his bed I hung the yellow Styrofoam sun with a smiling face.

By 4 a.m., I was finished. I’d even flattened the boxes and carried them to our box-filled garage. Before I went to sleep, I set my alarm for 8 a.m. — I wanted to see the expression on his face when he woke up.

At 7 a.m., he was standing next to my bed.

“Mom,” he said, touching my arm. “Mom, wake up, please.”

I sat up. “Why are you awake so early?”

“Cause something happened when I was sleeping,” he said.


“My room got nice. The boxes are gone,” he said. “You gotta come see my room.”

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Last week, after taking him to college to begin his freshman year, I packed up that same room. Some of his things will be thrown away, some given away, some kept for memory’s sake. He still had the Legos and the trading cards, but most of the other things had been replaced or boxed up over the years. There were a few drawings and pictures left on the wall — he’d mailed his favorite posters to his dorm, including several of The Beatles. His closet was mostly empty, save for a few hanging items wrapped in plastic — the judo clothes that had been my husband’s as a child, the wool blazer my mother gave him when he was a toddler, the tiny fake leather jacket he wore when he pretended to be Elvis, the honor-society tees.

I vacuumed curtains, bedding, and dried-up toothpaste on the carpet.

I dusted the sun with the smiling face.

The button on the bear had long ago lost its juice, but I sat down on his bed and sang the lullaby one last time.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down 
And I do appreciate you being ’round 
Help me get my feet back on the ground 
Won’t you, please, please help me? 
Help me, help me, ooh.

About the writer


Melissa is a writer, and an editor with Jim Donovan Literary. Her essays and articles have run in publications such as The Washington Post, The Dallas Morning News, Reader’s Digest, The New York Times, Ladies’ Home Journal, Babble.com, Newsweek, Huffington Post, Scarymommy.com, Club Mid, BetterAfter50.com, and The Los Angeles Times, as well as CNN Radio. She was previously Director of Creative Services for Food Marketing Institute in Washington, D.C. Her first book will be published by Sourcebooks in 2016. Follow her on Twitter @MelissaTShultz and her blog: Sisterhood of Mothers.com.

From Around the Web


Anonymous 7 days ago

I so know how you feel. Both my older boys moved out. I felt so sad and empty each time one of my kids left home. One of my sons is moving bAck I live close to his college and I am thrilled. Hang in there life has turns. You never know what’s around the corner.

Lauren 3 months ago

Great article! My girls are still little and time is already going by too fast:)

Puzzle Game Apps 4 months ago

These are truly wonderful ideas in on the topic of blogging.
You have touched some nice things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Sarah 5 months ago

Wow great writing! This made me tear up, so sweet! I am a SAHM a of 3 kids, they are 7, 5, and 13 mon. and I can’t imagine them going off to college, even though I know it will come all too soon! I know I’m not going to be ready! They are growing up way too fast and I try and enjoy every moment I can with them! Any advice on how to get through it? I have days where I can’t wait till I drop them off at school or put them to bed at night, just so I can have me time, but then there are the times I can’t wait till they get back from grandma’s where they’ve been for 2 days, ah the bitter sweet moments!

Vicki 5 months ago

And I’m crying….I have a 2 year old and SO not looking forward to how fast time is going to go!

Megan 6 months ago

I experienced this vicariously through “Andy’s Mom” … I was 8 months pregnant with my son, watching Toy Story 3, crying my eyes out for how Andy’s Mom must have felt, packing her boy’s room for college, knowing how I was going to feel in 18 short years.

This was so sweet, thank you for sharing.

carpoolqueenof7 6 months ago

this took me back to walking into my oldest child’s room just days after her departure and opening her closet. I still cry when I think of what was left behind…Her letterman’s jacket,an old grade school jumper (why?) and graduation gown. I tell my friends after their children leave for college..DO NOT GO IN THE CLOSET.

Danielle 6 months ago

I have two handsome boys myself. A 2 year old and 1 month old, both sandy blonde haired and blue eyed. I somehow hope as the years pass it get easier to watch them leave because reading this broke my heart. No where near ready for those days. Great read!

Debbie 6 months ago

Oh great! We are going out to dinner and now I have to re do my make-up! Wonderful story of your son!

Mary 6 months ago

Tears! My 9 year old son asks me to snuggle with him every night. Some nights I really just want to hurry along and get other stuff done, but lately I’ve been snuggling him every night that he asks- because I know he’s a heartbeat away from not wanting that anymore. Beautiful article!

Nat 6 months ago

Thank you. I have two boys :’)

Ashley Barr 6 months ago

Reminded me of the children’s book love you forever that book will always make me tear up when I read it but it’s such a good book

Tricia Sayers 6 months ago

I knew I shouldn’t of read this stupid feelings.

Georgia DiBattista 6 months ago

Oh yes! It is so hard! I cried my eyes out, after my daughter moved into the dorm, and she hadn’t even been living with me.

Sue King 6 months ago

Would you really pack up your college son’s room? Like he won’t ever come home?

Lisa Michelle 6 months ago

Dammit I have something In my eye

Kyrsten Suzanne Shapiro 6 months ago

Oh so sweet. I have something in both of my eyes.

Andrea Sene 6 months ago

Reminds me of the end of toy story 3. Andys mom hugged him and said ” I wish I could always be with you” Every time my boys take another step toward independence my heart breaks a little even though I thrill in watching them progress.

Kimberly Nelson 6 months ago


Veya van Noort 6 months ago

We moved to another country in August, and my little two year old girl’s room was the first one to be done. Obviously.

Suzy Weinberg Snyder 6 months ago

My oldest son is almost 13 and the thought of him leaviin for college in t short years breaks my heart. I think I will go with him :).

Henrietta Barron Scott 6 months ago


Jennie Reis 6 months ago

Oh wow. My heart hurts. The thought of my almost four-year-old going off to college makes me want to freeze time. ♡

Savanna Hartman 6 months ago


Nicole Kosby 6 months ago

Now I want to wake up my toddler so I can hold him

Jeanine Daddario 6 months ago

I love this! Made me cry!!

Kimberly Davis 6 months ago

High school graduation in 2 months and 21 days. My brilliant, talented and amazingly wonderful baby girl is so grown up. I don’t know how this happened and you made me break my no crying rule. Thanks… I think.. I don’t suppose you found a rewind button??? Sigh. Didn’t think so

Mandy Conn 6 months ago

In just a few short months our last two will be leaving for college. This one hit home for me.

Melinda Holmes 6 months ago

hmmm… dried up “toothpaste” on the bedroom carpet… yes, keep telling yourself that’s what it was.

Dana Wisniewski 6 months ago

Anyone else thinking of toy story 3 and Andy leaving for college? Can you tell I have toddlers?

Tara Boell Treppiedi 6 months ago

omgoodness, yes, tears, but thanks for the reminder that one day we’ll miss them (tweens!) that is so sweet

Donna D. Early 6 months ago


Nikolaj Larsen 6 months ago

why would I need tissues? Who the hell would wank to this? you people are sick

Diana Armijo 6 months ago

Awww so sweet an sad. Makes me sad lately knowing my son is finally 1 years old an he’s getting bigger everyday. He won’t be little little for too long now :'(

Lauren Stallings 6 months ago

Not the article to read on my son’s fourth birthday

Denise Marie Hulsey Mace 6 months ago

Oh god, right in the feels.

Paula Summ-Watters 6 months ago


Monica Arias 6 months ago

So so many tears. The years go by much to fast

Eliza Deary 6 months ago

Hehe. Help was my toddler’s favorite word. So I sing that song and he times the helps. Still little. Still precious sweet moments of wonder. <3

Catherine Marie 6 months ago

Oh my

Chelsea Schoaff 6 months ago

Waaaaaaaah oh I need to hug my boys. Like right this minute. Sadly, I am at work and they are at home making memories. The mom guilt is strong.

Kimberly Rhodes Taber 6 months ago

Yep! I’m crying! Lol

Shan Grech 6 months ago

Ohhhhh I can’t even.

Amber Dawn Lewis 6 months ago

Crap. Why did I read this?

Danielle Wetenkamp 6 months ago


Lauren Martin 6 months ago

Oh damnnit

Renee McFadden 6 months ago

Jeez! My eyes! Ahhhh! Feelings everywhere!

Jennifer 9 months ago

We are looking to move in a few months and have two boys, a 9 year old and a 5 year old. They are looking forward to the move with some trepidation. This post really hits home. How beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

Sarah H 1 year ago

My son is almost 6 months old. I am looking forward to his whole entire life. This made me tear up. Thank you.

Allisen Shaw 1 year ago

Tears flowing! My boys are 9 & 13. Although I’m excited to know the young men they will become….I don’t want them to go!!

Erica Wint McGillicuddy 1 year ago

A nice reminder while I am “in the trenches” with a 3 and 5 year old. It’s hard, but I know will go by so fast… :_-)

Tammy-Epp Sylvestre 1 year ago

Awwwwe this is so precious!!!

Jennifer Flavin McMullin 1 year ago

This made the tears flow. I remember setting up my sons’ rooms when we moved a short distance to our new house- they were 2 and 6- they are now 9 and 13 and we have since had another son who is four. The time goes by so quickly, I know how lucky I am to have them in my life and am cherishing every sweet moment.

Love 1 year ago

Oh like a knife to my heart! I have a preschooler and 4 teenagers, and I spend more time than I’d like to admit sobbing in my heart about the inevitable day they’re all going to leave me.

Carrie Weaver 1 year ago

Gets me every time. Touching

Karyn M. Osuna-Poindexter 1 year ago

Oh, sweet baby Jesus. I was fine until the very last line. My son is 7 and when he was just a wee bit, I created a lullaby for him that I sing to him every single night. And I plan on singing it to him until I take my last breath. The thought, the very simple idea of him growing up and away from me is, but for a second, wonderful, and fills me with freedom. Then, I’m slammed with such sadness that I can’t bare. This story definitely hits home.

Mommadiesel 1 year ago

My blonde blue eyed baby boy will be 30 this year. ” Send in the clowns” was the song I would have to sing after the wind up music box wouldnt play it anymore. Next month he will have his own baby girl and I know he will finally understand what I really meant when I would tell him that even when I’m gone he will still and always will be my baby boy. Now I got to go blow my nose n wipe my tears away so he wont see them when he stops by to have lunch.

Christy Laverty 1 year ago

wow, my aching heart. What a great piece. My girls are 10 and 8 and I always wish I could slow down time. We spend so much time in our lives worrying about stuff and forgetting to slow down and cherish those every day sweet moments with the people we love. This is just so sweet. Thanks for sharing it

Andi White Sousa 1 year ago

Beautiful story and memory. My boy is only four, but it seems like yesterday I was rocking him to sleep as I sang Pearl Jam’s “Just Breathe,” the only thing that would soothe him. The little details in this story will forever trigger happy memories :)

Tina Ayer Jageler 1 year ago

Oh wow. Cried like a baby. My son is 4 and my last baby. He’s getting more and more independent, but still loves to sit on my lap and give me kisses. I’ve got to remember that these days will soon be gone.

Nicole Robilliard Beck 1 year ago

Oh, my heart!

Jennifer Kiss Hunter 1 year ago

I am so sorry. :'(

Jennifer Kiss Hunter 1 year ago

My boys just turned 15! OMG, only 3 more years? Where does the time go?? :'(

Rebecca Pursel 1 year ago

My son will be 18 months old this Friday and i just bawled like he was leaving for college tomorrow..

Sweetie Darlin 1 year ago

In a few short weeks I will watch my first child walk across that stage with her high school diploma. I can’t even think about how just a few days ago I was changing diapers and wiping snotty noses. Now she is on her own path to become Miss America. My little happy go lucky blonde haired baby girl. This post in a sweet remembrance of how those moments of happy will stay with us always.

Jessica Sato 1 year ago

I have read this before and it always makes me cry. I can’t even imagine the day when my son is grown.

Toni Como-Clayton 1 year ago

Oh, I cried…sobbed a little…my oldest is 9…..

Shalane Jarnagin 1 year ago

I have two little ones of my own and find muself crying sometimes wondering what I’m going to do when they leave me.

Sheena Buteau 1 year ago

My two baby boys, 5 and 8. It’s already beginning. They’re starting not I need mommy that much anymore. Both in school, both making new friends, both growing up way too fast. The boys they have become are amazing. I’m so proud of who they are!

Sarah Theriault 1 year ago

Ah! You can’t do this to me! My one and only baby boy is already 20 months old.

Sarah 1 year ago

I’m crying now, hahaha. My son is only 2. My first child and only child and the years have gone by too quickly and this post reminded me how they will continue to go by too quickly and before I know it, my little man won’t be so little anymore. Right now he’s sleeping soundly in my bed because we have to share a room, me being a single mom and having to live with a roommate in a tiny 2-bedroom. Haha I wanted him to start sleeping in his own little bed again so the other night I had him sleep there. He did great but I was utterly exhausted the next day which didn’t make any sense. How can I not get good sleep without those little feet laying over my chest or those little arms wrapped tightly around my head? I can’t wait to see the man he’ll become but, then again, I don’t want tomorrow to come.

Lucy Dale 1 year ago

Jesus I’m tearing up just reading the comments! I have my one and only 2.5 year old boy so I’m not gonna read this post!

Soph Tarttelin 1 year ago

Whenever my mum came to see my functions band play I would dedicate this song to her……last sang it to her in October 2006. She died in the January of 2007. It will always be my song to her. We always need our mums. :-(

Janet Solesbee 1 year ago

Such a beautiful story!

Karen Thomson Cain 1 year ago

Sigh…I remember when my little blond boy stepped off the bus, the first thing he looked for was me! BIG HUGS for me!, Now that he’s 12, he races past me, though he does appreciate it if I have the front door open, so he doesn’t have to stop his full-blown teenage mayhem that is a twelve year old boy.

When he is at camp this summer, I will be quietly boxing up the stuffed bunnies, elephants and bears. No more eggs and ham, no more Poo and you, no more Easter baskets with that filmy neon green grass drifting down around each egg.

Occasionally I still get glimpses of my sweet baby boy. Over Spring Break, at Fiesta Texas, my sweet boy broke away from the pack of all he-wolves, the mothers were following a discreet distance behind so as not to embarrass them, ran up to me, said ‘Love you and I’ll be right over there’, and was off like a flash, back to his world. Having him acknowledge me in his world, even though I never lost sight of him, makes me feel as though he’s not ready to lose sight of me yet either. It warmed my heart to know that even though he was hanging out with his friends, and trying to be ‘cool’, he still wanted to know where I was and wanted me to know where he was at all times.

I know many more changes are on the way, some I welcome, some more bittersweet, but all I can hope for is that he knows he always has a home to come home to no matter what, I’ll always leave a light on for him, and as his momma, I’ll love him forever and ever, no matter what.

Michelle Tamasa 1 year ago

I dunno if I want to read it… I identify with your blog posts way too much….

Lisa Jacobs Cronin 1 year ago

Now I’m sad. Life flies back way too fast as an adult with young sweet kids.

Carly Phillippe 1 year ago

Noooooooooo!!!!!! My boys will never grow up!!!!

Tania Wass 1 year ago

Have had to do this 4 times and it never got any easier. Always hard to let your kids grow up and leave their safe nest. All my kids are close by so i am grateful for that! now I have the joys of Grandkids to fill the house with laughter & love ♥ thanks for sharing your sweet little story :-)

Susan O’Connor Lowick 1 year ago

First of all, tears. Second of all, I also sing Help to my two year old, for the very same reason. Loved this!

Leanne Chow Kranenburg 1 year ago

Incredibly sweet

Marissa Burgess Fisher 1 year ago

Yep. Crying. As much as I sometimes wish I could have the house all quiet and to myself, I know I will really miss the noise and their precious faces someday when they’re gone. I will always remember the silly songs, the bedtime stories, the laughing, the look in their eyes when seeing or learning something new, and all the sweet hugs and cuddles. Enjoy these days while they’re here! They’ll go by fast!

Julia Byrne Anthony 1 year ago

My son is 2. Still just a baby. But while reading this beautiful story, my tears are heavy knowing someday all too soon, it will be about MY boy. An indescribable love that a mother has for her son

Andrea 1 year ago

My son is only 2 years old & this got me! Beautifully written, thanks for sharing from the heart.

MaryJo Materazo 1 year ago

Crying over here. Mine is only 12 but the years seem to go faster & faster as he gets older. Thanks for sharing- all so true!

Lisa Ingegniero 1 year ago

Now I’m ugly crying.

Becki Rector 1 year ago

Cried cried cried :-( dnt want my babies to grow up anymore!!!

Loukia Zigoumis 1 year ago

So can’t stop crying. It all goes by too quickly. Thinking about my boys getting older, moving away, DRIVING? I need to be institutionalized and I’m not kidding.

Kris Tall Ball 1 year ago


Kris Olson Holmes 1 year ago

My first baby is 17 and a junior in high school. It feels like I only have a few moments left with him. He’s upstairs in the room I decorated for him when he was tiny. I cannot imagine how it will be to watch him move onto the next stage of his life. At the same time, I am so excited to see him grow into a man. But for now, I will shed a couple tears over that post.

Debbie Corcoran 1 year ago

My one and only child, my son will be 21 in July. I cherish those sweet, sweet moments and just wish I could hold him and rock him in my arms now. Can’t even put into words the love we share with our children. <3 You came pretty close. Thanks for sharing this.

Carrie Spivey 1 year ago

Great story. Too bad I will never have that awesome and proud moment. Instead, I had to pack up my 18 year olds room because he chose drugs instead of a roof over his head. He had choices and that is what he chose. So instead of packing up my sons room for him to move off to college, it was to move off with someone who condone’s his choices. This was after a year long battle of going through his room often to find the drugs. This was after him coming home some nights high, some nights tweaked. Sometimes he was just simply brazen enough to smoke it in his room while I was home. My birth mother made a choice when I was 10 to enjoy life with a new boyfriend and a life with drugs. I never thought 33 years later I would lose my son to a similar choice. And it was she who has taken him in simply because she condones it. I had thought by having a “relationship” with her “because she’s my mother” and “I want my son to know his grandmother” was the right thing to do. I was wrong.

Nicole Hempel 1 year ago

No doubt! Tears

Michelle Wallace 1 year ago

OMG! My little boy is about to turn 3! But I can already imagine the emotions I will go through! ❤️

Eric John Brett 1 year ago

Thank you, this story gave me an incentive to remember my children’s childhoods. Their births, their toddler years, school days, and unfortunately the loss of their mother when 2 of them were teenagers. Now they are all grown and moving on with their lives. I will always take a few quiet moments to look back and remember those times.

Jodi Broady 1 year ago

Yeah. Me, too. :`(

Sara Craig Wagner 1 year ago

Amber that is depressing!! Ugh lol

Pamela Rymanowski 1 year ago

Sonia Montenegro-Garza, Becky Trantham, Melanie Hormes, Joanna Grivers Cambra – I read it and cried now it’s your turn!! I am going to go kiss my sleeping son now. :-)

Sara Sacks 1 year ago

I was not prepared for how much I would miss my boy when he left for college. It’s been 3 years and – although I’m used to him being gone, the loss I feel is just as great.

Sarah Fritz-Maldonado 1 year ago

I have 5 years left with my oldest 18 with my next but I’ll probably cry his entire senior year dreading the moment he goes off to college… Hell I cried when he turned 13.. And I’m not the sappy kind of person who cares about stuff like that

Lisa Crownover Zacharias 1 year ago

AND…I need another glass of wine…

Kerry Oliver Alonso 1 year ago

Gah! The tears are flowing. My oldest son started college this year and it’s so hard!

Bryna Darling 1 year ago


Emily Martin 1 year ago

I just told my 3 year old today that he wasn’t allowed to have any more birthdays. Can’t he stay my sweet 3 year old boy forever?!?

jessica 1 year ago

My son is only 5 months and I already feel so much of this. I anticipate it will never go away. No love compares.

Jami Sones Moore 1 year ago

Amber Hartfield

Stephanie 1 year ago

Beautifully written. Does he still remember waking up that day? What a great thing to do.

Kelly Lindeman 1 year ago


Donna Coffey Demeter 1 year ago

Only have 2 more years before this happens with my older one. Shouldn’t have read it :(

Hillary Alexander 1 year ago


Mary Waite Long 1 year ago


Tracy Bruce Hale 1 year ago


Alison Sutton 1 year ago

So beautiful, it made me cry :'(

Amy Thorpe Davis 1 year ago

One of my faves!

Teresa Durkin Sevener 1 year ago

My baby boy is away at college this year for the first time. I miss the little boy that I once had but love the man he has grown into. Bitter sweet!

Karen DeSemple 1 year ago

Will be packing up my oldest son to move to college in just over 4 months. This was beautiful and timely. From one enormous Beatles fan to another, thank you.

Bethany Tebbe 1 year ago

I’m crying, thank you, as I read this just days away from my baby boys 18th birthday.

Carmen Foley Galarneau 1 year ago

Cue the tears…

Amy Eggsware 1 year ago


Mandi Alt Rashleigh 1 year ago

Sniffle sniffle…

Laura Reagan Coffin 1 year ago

My oldest is going to be a senior next year and the thought of him leaving breaks my heart

Crystal Posey 1 year ago

yeah this about killed me

RayandJackie Guy 1 year ago


SLP for ME 2 years ago

Hi Cindy – I cannot post to your wall on a new thread, but I wanted to let you know to re-download the freebie that you just did and gave me nice feedback on! I had something twice and my student teacher pointed it out to me! Thanks! Enjoy!!! Dana

just JENNIFER 2 years ago

Oh goodness. Ooph. Just….what a beautiful thing you did that night. What a wonderful memory. Did you tell him it was you?

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Yes, if I could have bottled the joy, I would have. The memory is for keeps though…for both of us.

Thanks for reading the essay, and for writing!

Rebecca Einstein Schorr 2 years ago

I am still stuck imagining the wonder on his face as he told you that something had happened while you were both sleeping. How he had no idea that it was you… Beautiful.

Anne Kelly Ruthenbeck 2 years ago

My son is 4 1/2, and this made me cry

Anne Kelly Ruthenbeck 2 years ago

My son is 4 1/2, and this made me cry

L.A. Say 2 years ago

Sometimes it’s the memories you cherish that make the heartache worth it.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Marnie!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Allison!

Allison Hart 2 years ago

This one caught me offguard and now I'm ugly crying. Great post.

Marnie Sloan Brodersen 2 years ago

Wow, what a wonderful, selfless thing you did for your son to make him feel happy in his new home. Love, love, love this beautifully written story!

Shelley @ThatGirlShelley 2 years ago

Such a beautiful and heartwarming story. We get so wrapped up with them getting older and not having to worry about diapers or bottles or strollers, that we sometimes forget to cherish every moment right now.

Jessica Luebbe 2 years ago

<3 <3 <3 <3 <3

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Visa — keep writing! Your voice will continue to grow until it flows just the way you want it to.

Visa Shanmugam 2 years ago

As a mother to a 3 year old boy and another little boy on the way I can so relate to this post. It made me tear up reading this. Even though we have a long way to go before he goes off to college, I know it will be here in the blink of an eye.
You are an amazing writer and have a way of articulating things that speak right to me. I wish I could write these myself, because this is exactly how I feel!
The magic and wonder in their eyes is priceless and you wish you could bottle it up and always carry it with you.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Devon! Mom magic really does work (sometimes).

Devon 2 years ago

Oh, what a great read on a rainy Monday morning. Thank you for sharing it — I love the mom magic you worked that late night years ago.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Cristen — enjoy every stage….

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thanks for the lovely note and for reading the essay!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you! One more forehead kiss is a great idea…

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you Cristen! You have so much to look forward to, even the hard stuff is worthwhile.



Shefali 2 years ago

This is was really so beautiful. My daughter is just two years old and when I think about her moving away to go to college, it makes me want to tear up…and then I think “that is the craziest thing ever” I have years to go before it happens and yet I feel like it’s not enough time. Nothing can prepare you for your child leaving I guess. Thanks for sharing.

HD 2 years ago

Rip my heart out, why don’t you? Now I’m going to have to tiptoe into my daughters’ room for one more forehead kiss and risk waking them up and having to exorcize the demons that frequent during the middle of the night wake-ups! This was beyond beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

Cristen Pascucci 2 years ago

My son will be two in December… and I'm already sad about him getting older. I don't even want to think about how much harder it gets! What a beautiful article.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you for reading it!

All Best,


Jenn 2 years ago

You had me at “this is a story about a boy and his room.”

Made me stop and think about how we moved into our current house when I was pregnant with my son and now he’s turning 5 this week.

Slow down time.

I loved reading your beautiful writing, Melissa. Thank you for sharing that piece of your heart.

Carpool Goddess 2 years ago

Beautiful post. Tugs the heart.

Caitlin 2 years ago

I too am a Beatles fan! My kids love them too! I have an eight year old son and this brought tears to my eyes. There’s something about a mom and her boy that is too special for anyone else to understand :)

Teresa Chessar Rathjen 2 years ago

This was beautiful! Thanks for sharing! My oldest is a sophomore in college and my youngest is a 3rd grader. I am learning to slow down and just let him be little! He's a frog catching, BB gun shooting, muddy mess of a fella who loves to love up on his momma! And I'm loving every bit of it! And as hard as it was to let go of my oldest and send her to college last year and again this fall I am loving watching her grow into a beautiful, mature, confident young woman. She inspires me! And between my oldest and my youngest there's a beautiful 11 year old daughter! Letting go is mighty hard, but the moments in between make it all worth while!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Sending hugs your way…

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

I remember that song well. It makes for a great lullaby!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thanks you, Lorette!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Lucky grandbaby!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Now you made ME cry.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

I understand!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Hi Cindy, thanks for writing! The sense of wonder is ours to have and to hold. And my favorite part of being a mom to boys.

Shirley Davis Rembold 2 years ago

So true, Candi :)

Ariana 2 years ago

Moving away from my youngest son (he is 18, his brothers are both 21) was the hardest part of getting married this year. They were ready to live apart from me, but the memories of stories, laughing, horsing around, helping each other grow into who we are today…these memories will always be tinged with longing. I love being a mother of sons.

Mary 2 years ago

I’m a Grandma to a beautiful little 7 month old boy. My only son is 31, yes, those years went by so fast. I am determined to spend precious time with my grandbaby and make some good memories.

Lorette Lavine 2 years ago

I am a grandmother reading this and reminiscing…the feelings of attachment and separation are flooding back. Now I am experiencing small separations as a grandparent…so much a part of life. Thank you for sharing…made me both happy and sad!

grownandflown 2 years ago

Melissa, I love this story and also Help, the lullaby you remember singing so often with your son. It seems perfect for then and for you, now. My favorite with our kids was You are my Sunshine, a song I catch myself thinking about and humming, sometimes, when I remember them when they were very, very young. The lyrics still ring very true.

Jane George 2 years ago

Thanks Melissa, you made me weep.

dlt 2 years ago

My oldest has a blanket. It was made by a great aunt he never met, one I only met once. He never has taken anywhere except to his grandma’s when he was younger. He didn’t want to lose it. He is in his second year of college now, still at home. That blanket is still on his bed. Keep the teddy bear. It is like my son’s blanket. Part of him.

Candi Davis 2 years ago

They will always be our babies, just ask my mom!

Sharon Braner 2 years ago

My sons are grown, happily married, successful and between them have 9 wonderful children. As blessed as the grown up years have become there are still days that I am half mad because they are no longer 5 and 8years old! Great article, my friend!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Those will all be wonderful experiences for you both…enjoy every one of them, even if they are difficult, or imperfect — they are yours and his forever and ever.

Cindy L Meester 2 years ago

Having 3 grown sons this story brought back all the wonderment, wided eyed years we had together. Thanks!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

When my oldest went to school, I kept his door closed for weeks. I couldn't go in without getting weepy. This is progress for me. And our dog is so much happier that his door is open. He's still looking for him…

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

So glad to hear it gets better, and am hoping it got better for your family?

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Estelle!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Stacy!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Hi Judy, he’s doing well, thanks!

Estelle Sobel Erasmus 2 years ago

This is beautiful Melissa. Thanks for sharing it.

Amanda 2 years ago

My son is never allowed to grow up. This broke my heart. I’m still leaking out a few tears as I write this. I am not looking forward to the day my boy grows up into a young man, and eventually marries the woman who makes his heart flutter. I still have to endure the first solo bike ride, his first day of school, that loose tooth Ive got to pry out….Reading this will make me more appreciative of the time I still have with my boy.

Nancy D’Angelo Stein 2 years ago

Yeah, the older one just moved into his own apartment and the "baby" turned 18 yesterday and is 400 miles away at school….although I cleaned their rooms, I haven't put their stuff away, and there are certain books I CANNOT read right now because they were bedtime books….

Rissa Bruno 2 years ago

Wow…..made me tear up! This is exactly how I felt when we initially bought our first home and moved in. Our Son was 4 at the time. We lived there for 14 years and then he left for the Army. At that time also, the housing market crashed and we went upside down on our mortgage which forced us to give the house back to the bank. I remember bawling my eyes out when I packed up his room. I felt like I was losing the memories too! Such a hard time…..but it does get better.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thanks for reading it, Erin!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thanks for reading it!

Cheri 2 years ago

Lovely story and brought back some lovely memories, as this is all too familiar to me, with one twist. The year I packed up my one and only son (at that time) for University here in the UK when he was 17, I was pregnant with one of his little brothers (after trying to get pregnant for 9 years). Then a year and a half later, had my 3rd little boy. Then the year my eldest son graduated from University, my middle son started Reception (Kindergarten equivalent in the UK) and my youngest started pre-school. It has been a surreal life with my precious boys, and I’m really taking the time to enjoy it even more this time around, as I know ALL TOO WELL how fast the time goes!
Thanks for sharing :) xx

Erin Janda Rawlings 2 years ago

Yes, this made me cry. Beautifully written. Feel like I need to bookmark this and read on the days my son is driving me crazy. Thanks for writing this.

stacy 2 years ago

So very touching…thank you for the reminder that life moves too fast – it’s so easy to get caught up in the stress of the day, and wish the weeks away…when these are the moments to cherish (I have a 21 mo. old). Huge congratulations to you and your son…you both sound very blessed to have each other.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you for writing and for reading the essay. And I’m with you on all your feelings..

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you for writing, and you are SO right!

Katie 2 years ago

My oldest daughter turns 9 next month and it is a little bittersweet. It goes by so fast and I am trying to hold on to all of it and help her navigate it all. Thank you for a the story, it made me cry.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

It’s hard to slow down when you are in the thick of it, but yes, if I were to give my younger self advice, that would be at the top of the list.

All Best,


heckofanurse 2 years ago

My Heathen is only 7, but he’s one of those kids that, when you look in his deep-ocean blue eyes, it’s like he sees your soul.I think sometimes how I’d like a crystal ball to see him as the man I can’t wait to see, but then I don’t know how he got this age, either. He started 2nd grade this year, and he’s too grown up for me already! I cried at the very idea that his flame curtains and solar system bedding will be banished too soon. Thank you for the insight!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you, Elizabeth!

Gina Lamb Thacker 2 years ago

That is the SAME song I sang to my now 11-year-old. Such a sweet story.

Lauri 2 years ago

Thank you for such a beautiful post, Melissa! Isn’t it funny how we, as parents, always look to the next milestone with excitement and long to have the last one back with our kids? Thank you for reminding me to look at the ones right in front of me. This is a very exciting time for all of you… enjoy and thank you for sharing!

Lisa 2 years ago

That was so very lovely, tears are rolling here. I have a 14 year old and can’t imagine him leaving home even for college.

Judy@Mommy Today Magazine 2 years ago

Oh so sweet and also funny. Using “help” from the Beatles as a lullaby! :-) Hope your son is doing great in college!

Suny Blu 2 years ago

This hit home for me. I only have my oldest for 2 very short years longer. My heart already aches as it bursts with pride at the woman she is becoming.

Maggie 2 years ago

My “little boy” is starting his Senior year of High school. I just NEED time to slow down. I did the ugly cry through this entire post. Bitter sweet.

Elizabeth 2 years ago

I’ve got three grown kids and two grandsons, and this is just perfect. I do miss that little nine year old boy! Beautifully written, thank you for sharing!!

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you! Yes, she’s in that Time of Bliss too. Enjoy it — such a special time.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

Thank you! I am very proud. Our new life in separate places will take some getting used to, but I’m looking forward to this chapter and to watching him become the man I know he can be.

Melissa T. Shultz 2 years ago

To you too, and thanks for reading, and for writing!

Kati 2 years ago

Awwww, my baby girl just turned nine and we are redoing her room. It breaks my heart to know she is closer to gone. This was beautiful. Good luck to your son and to you Mama <3

Grace | Yummy Baby Gifts 2 years ago

This was very sweet indeed and yes bitter sweet. Must also feel so proud to have a boy going to college! Congrats to you both and hope he has a great college life!

Sadie 2 years ago

Beautiful! Tear-jearking! I have a 10 month old and I can already see that this journey is so very bitter sweet. Congratulations on the college milestone. Hugs to you sweet Mama!