I’m so tired and yet I want this moment forever.
It’s 11:15 PM. I put you down in your aqua-and-grey chevron-themed nursery at 7:45. You woke just slightly– as usual– as you and your dinosaur footies hit the mattress, but you succumbed to the weight of your eyelids as you reassured yourself that Mommy was nearby and it was time to enter Sleepytown.
So, who sent you back?
I wasn’t in a deep sleep yet anyway. Dunkin must have amplified the amount of caffeine in their large iced coffees. I don’t crash quite as quickly as I once did. I must have finally closed my eyes at 10:30.
You’re never upset; you just babble. You hold your pacifier above your head as if it’s the most darling, treasured sight you’ve ever seen. Had your eyes been closed in the midst of this babble session, I’d know I could re-provide you with your paci and you’d nod back off. Unfortunately, you’re wide awake this time and nothing will comfort you more than a full bottle.
I just fell off at 10:30, so why am I so tired? It’s so dark in here. I wish we hadn’t watched that creepy movie right before bed. I’m seeing shadows.
There’s comfort in reaching your crib. You look pleased that I’ve arrived but you know this visit is strictly business. With the lights off, I gently change your diaper and carry you off to prepare your bottle together. With the static of your nursery’s white noise playing through the monitor next to us, you enjoy your bottle, your eyes re-closing.
For whatever reason– perhaps Murphy’s Law– I’m suddenly overly exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open. I’m usually a professional at such. I read one-too-many articles about the hazards associated with falling asleep with the baby in your arms. I refuse to do it. I always fight it. Tonight, the battle is more difficult than usual.
As if you can sense my struggle, you begin to battle falling asleep. Maybe your motions will keep Mommy alert, you may think. It works actually. Thank you. Still, now that I’m exhausted, unfortunately awake, and you’re wriggling, I’m getting frustrated.
I adjust my arms from underneath your future-6′ 2″-supporting-legs (says the pediatrician) and place my right arm gently atop the bottom of your tummy, forming a Mommy seat belt.
Then, you do it. Your body responds cordially to my new position and you place both of your hands atop my arm in such utter comfort and trust that you immediately fall into a deep sleep.
I swoon. You’ve never looked cuter. I’ve never felt more important to you. I’m exhausted, yes, but I remind myself of just how dated our days of cuddling on the couch truly are.
Each day, we remind each other that you are the biggest you’ve ever been and the smallest you’ll ever be again.
I reiterate to my heavy eyes that you are no inconvenience or sleep interrupter. How could I ask to alternatively be dreaming, when you are the embodiment of dreams passed? I thank God once more for you through choked-back tears of endearing admiration. You’re asleep and I feel guilty at the thought of removing the Mommy belt from the comfort of your now deep-sleeping hands.
I realize I’m so tired, and yet, I want this moment forever.
I make my cliché Mommy-frown face at the beauty that is you, and I motivate myself to let go of the moment and put you back down in your crib. After all, there’s an inbox full of work to be done in the morning.
You woke just slightly– as usual– as you and your dinosaur footies hit the mattress, but you succumbed to the weight of your eyelids as you reassured yourself that Mommy was nearby and it was time to enter Sleepytown.
I’ll be here whenever you get back.