Wednesday, January 16, 2013

...And babies don't keep

As you know I have a sappy, sentimental side. I had one of those moments the other night. My baby boy is creeping up on five years old. For those that are parents, it is well known and obsessively discussed how fast children grow up. It is a topic that is as common as the weather for silence filling conversation. How often do we actually delve into the moment? How often do you hold your children and try to memorize what their scent is? So many tragedies of late... So many horrific things that happen that cause us to look around us and have MOMENTS of appreciation. Life moves so fast. Our days are consumed with responsibility and demands.
The other night I actually took the time to really enjoy my baby. I try to take the time to do this. It usually happens if I am feeling guilty for not spending enough time with him. I have an eternally guilty conscience. I am one of those people that will dwell on things that I feel I could have or should have handled differently. Well, the other night I was being particularly hard on myself. I was reflecting on the tone of voice that I've been guilty of using. I thought back to a couple of times that I've squashed excitement because I was in a bad mood or just didn't feel like being patient. At any rate.
Little Mister was watching television in my bed. I figured he was long gone from the world of wakefulness but he wasn't. He was snuggled up, watching a show and smiled his sweet, innocent, unconditionally loving smile at me and popped his thumb in his mouth. I have started to cringe at bed time when the thumb comes out because I immediately think of the orthodontia bill his comfort will cost me later. He asked if he had to go to his bed and I, for a change, said, "No, baby. You can fall asleep with me tonight." Yes, he has slept with me most nights of his life. I didn't intend to practice co-sleeping but that is a luxury I absolutely have not sharing my bed. He will graciously sleep in his room more often than not now but I wanted to have him near me to satiate my need to relieve the guilt of not being his best as often as I should have lately. So, I turned on my 20 minute slumber music. I told him to roll over on his side so I could hold him. I wrapped my arms around his little body and nuzzled my face up to his hair. I tried my best to memorize his smell and thought of all the fun and wonderful things he and I have done together.
As my mind started to slow down for sleep, I kept reminding myself that this moment would one day be lost. One day very soon, he wouldn't want to fall asleep with me nor would he fit in the cradle of my arms. It was just yesterday that I rocked him to sleep and he couldn't look me in the eye and say, "I love you, Momma." It was hours ago that he didn't know the alphabet or how to count to thirty. Just moments ago...
One day I will be trying to conjure the memories of what he was like when he was four. Am I going to forget as much as I have about my own childhood? Already, there are an endless amount of photos to capture moments but do I have enough? Will I be able to remember every moment?
Then comes the harsh reality that no times is guaranteed. There are so many in this world that have experienced the heart ache and unimaginable loss that I don't even have the nerve to try to aptly cover in the typewritten word. It is impossible to alleviate or understand a pain that I can't even begin to comprehend. That being said, I will forever treasure every possible moment that I can. Figuratively and literally, I will rock my baby because babies don't keep.

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