You woke early from your nap, crying a cry that begged for my attention; begged me to forfeit the few minutes I usually give you to leisurely wake up. I came to your side and you were still lying in your playpen, tucked beneath blankets big and small and cradled, on each side, by a sea of stuffed animals. You stayed lying down and rubbed your eye as I turned on the light and turned off your humidifier. Your eye has been red and watery since yesterday and I’m immediately concerned that it’s bothering you. What bothers you, bothers me; we’re intertwined like that.
I scoop you up and hold you in my arms as I kneel on the floor beside your playpen. You’re naked, wearing only your diaper. Your blanket is draped over my shoulder and I can smell you on it. I enjoy the moment for what it’s worth, expecting your head to pop up off the crook of my shoulder momentarily. I know these moments are fleeting, but for whatever reason, you remain weightless in my arms; a part of me.
My neck starts to ache from the angle I have to hold it to accommodate your toddler frame. I debate whether I should take the chance and move to the bed, knowing that moving could wake the go-see-do toddler energy in you.
We move to the bed and you remain sunk into my frame; you legs sandwiched in between mine, your head still on my shoulder. I can feel the dampness of you hair, still wet from your bath. My fingers trace the outline of your spine all the way down to your diaper, which crinkles every time my fingers meet it. You have your fingers in your mouth and I listen as you periodically suck on them. You stop sucking to gasp for air, still congested from the cold that got the best of your Papa and brother as well.
You lie there long enough for me to relax; long enough for me to truly be present and forget about the laundry and the dishes that wait for me outside your door. I lift my head up off your pillow and peek at your face. Your eyes are closed. My fingers trace the outline of your face, running from your forehead down to your chin. You have not slept on me since you were an infant and I struggle to remember what those days were even like.
I start to get choked up, lying there with you. I can feel a lump in the back of my throat and a single tear traces a path down my face. I’m not sad, I’m in love, and I’m overcome by it. Engulfed in it.
You slowly get up, kneeling by my side, your eyes weary and your fingers still in your mouth. You say nothing, but you’re looking at me. I wonder what you’re thinking. I reciprocate the silence, still trying to hold on to what just was.
And then you say, “Chicken”.
You make your way off the bed and I follow behind you, your blanket dragging on the floor between us. And I feel like the luckiest mom in the world.
Side notes: Congrats to Nicole Weiss for winning the giveaway to Custom On It. I sent you an email 🙂
Also, I’ve been ping-ponging back and forth between 5th and 6th over on Top Baby Blog. If ya’ll wouldn’t mind throwing a vote my way, I would be filled to the brim with joy. Simply click on the link below and then on the brown box above the owl. You can vote daily, if you feel so inclined. Much love.