Our hearts need this, even when my head tries to tell me I should be elsewhere.
Laying next to you while you take your nap, my heart breaks realizing that one day you won’t need me here when you sleep. One day you won’t want me there. Laying in my bed with you under the covers next to me, you’re so small in this big bed. You get so warm. You create an oven with your little body under these covers. As I lay with you stroking your cheek with my finger as you fall asleep, you reach up and rest your hand on my face. You play with my mouth and my nose. The sound machine, your deep breaths, and the squeak of your pacifier as you suck to fall asleep fills my ears. A sweat begins building between my cheek and your matted hair. I breath in and try to inhale every last piece of your smell. I inhale your smell like it’s my last chance. I wonder how many more breaths I will get before you stop smelling like my baby.
All the things that I should be doing right now creep in. The dishes piled up on the counter, the clothes sitting in the basket needing folded, the stretched budget now that I stay home. But then I remember that I nap with you because you want no one else beside you. You’ve chosen me to be your place of comfort. I recognize that I’m your whole world. It is a gift that I do not take lightly and that I value immensely. With every exhale you are breathing life into my history and the legacy I hope to leave. These breaths, this nap itself, it is all so finite. What will I do when it’s gone? But when I take this moment to be still with you, I see it is one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I realize, one day I will long for what I have this very second. You, my son, in my arms. You, who awakens and immediately cranes his neck to look up at me. A smile spreads across your face when you realize I’m still there wrapped around you. This is why I lay with you. Why I’ll keep it up as long as you let me. Our hearts need this, even when my head tries to tell me I should be elsewhere. Sleep, my son, knowing I’ll be here as long as you need me.