I've mentioned before my son's inability to sleep lately. He's getting some teeth (at least this is the reason we've given to the problem this week) and usually wakes up once at some point before we turn in for the night.
Last night I heard him cry out, and I knew this was not going to be one of those times he goes back to sleep on his own. I went in to him and he immediately reached his little arms up to me. (which is enough to melt me into a puddle on the floor right there.) I picked him up and he instantly layed his head on my shoulder, his little arms falling down upon mine. I swayed with the lullabies that play softly in the background, and under my breath sang my made-up lyrics to the song. (Are You Sleeping)
How are you? How are You?
You're my little angel, you're my little angel,
I love you, I love you
(not genius, I know, but this is why I'm not a song writer.)
I feel him getting heavier, which is a sure sign he's falling asleep. I adjust him so that I am cradling him and can see his sweet little face. His eyes are closed, and his cheeks are smooth and delicate. I kiss him on his forehead, and linger so I can smell him. He is getting so big. I remember a day when I could cradle him easily in just one arm. He is creeping up on two years old now, and won't qualify as a baby much longer.
As I walk to his crib to lay him down I pause, and think about how fast the time has gone. Soon he won't fit in my arms like this. So instead I continue to sway, and kiss, and swoon over this amazing boy. Each time I think that it's time to lay him back down I tell myself that I can't get this moment back once it's gone. Tomorrow he will be bigger, and soon, he will be too heavy to hold. I'll be taking him to kindergarten and watching him run off with his friends - away from me. I continue to sway.
I think about something my mom told me. She said that no matter how big they get, when they are sleeping they always look like your baby. I look at him and see him as I did that first night in the hospital. I layed him upon my propped-up legs and took pictures of him. I touched his skin that was so velvety-soft I almost couldn't feel it at all. I couldn't take my eyes off of him. And now look at this big boy - almost a kid. (No, he couldn't be a kid!) I wonder if my mom ever tiptoes into my room when I'm staying at her house and watches me sleeping, and longs for a moment like the one I have now. No, I'm not putting him down yet.
Swaying and kissing, humming and dreaming. I can't put him down. Just a little longer. And then I realize that I could stay there holding him all night long, and it wouldn't be enough. If I put everything else in my life on pause and just held him until he was too heavy to hold anymore, it wouldn't be enough. In fact if I could keep him just as he is for the rest of my life, and just hold him like this, it wouldn't be enough. So with a sigh, and just one more kiss, I layed him down. I watched him roll over and settle in, and then I left his room, shutting the door on that moment.
It wasn't enough.