I was sitting on the floor in my room, hunched in front of the computer screen. Tap, tapping away. Answering emails. Trying to polish up a new post. Visiting other sites. Ignoring the clock as it ticked away.
My heart skipped half a beat as I heard the cry come simultaneously out of the monitor and up through the vents from the bedroom below. It wasn’t a sleepy whimper which might make me pause. It wasn’t a painful scream which would make me run.
It was that cry that just means I’ve woken up and I’m confused and I need you. I stood up and headed downstairs.
I slid inside, closing the door behind me. His room was cold. I had to feel for him in the crib, as my eyes weren’t yet adjusted to the darkness. He was on his stomach, still crying out for me. As I reached down, I was relieved to touch fleece. Good, his daddy put the warm sleep sack on him, I thought.
In one motion, I lifted him up to my shoulder. He laid his head down immediately, familiarly onto my right shoulder and twined his fingers into my hair around my left. I restarted his lullaby cd and heard the oft-played notes of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” His whole body melted into mine as his cries wound down to whimpers and then sighs.
This. I’ll miss this. I don’t know why I thought that. I just knew as I swayed gently to the music and felt his body relax back into drowsiness that this moment was fleeting.
Everyone tells you it will go by fast, but often I am too swept up in the everyday-ness of the moments to appreciate them before they’re gone, replaced by another new normal.
This time I pause to soak it in. The weight of this little person who is mine now, but not forever. Who trusts me so completely and is reassured by my mere presence. How lucky you are, little baby, I thought. When you are sad, there is always someone to hold you.
I laid him down gently and watched a little longer than I usually do as he rolled onto his stomach and brought his bear closer.
I tiptoed up the steps, closed the computer, and tapped off the light. I slid into bed next to J and shivered. His arm reached out and drew me closer, even as his breathing stayed sleepily regular. And I, too, drifted comfortably to sleep.