I am Your One and Only and You are Mine

It is one of those {rare} nights that I miss you just a few hours into your nighttime sleep. I wonder if you are feeling lonely or scared or are cold, all alone in your room. So I wait. I want you to wake up, needing me, and for one reason or another, you do.

I am happy to feel the weight of your little body on mine. You rest your head on my shoulder. I pretend to be upset that you are up in the middle of the night. I pretend that I am sleepy and whisper that we both need to go back to sleep.

But all I want to do is hold you.

I break our rules and let you sleep in our bed, between us. I listen to your breathing and watch your small form move around in the moonlight. Your hands fiddle with your small toes in the air. You can’t settle. You sing. You babble. You stroke Daddy’s back and kiss his head. And I am so glad.

I try to memorize how small you look in our large bed. How soft your seventeen month young skin feels on mine. How your hair looks so frayed after a sleep. In the middle of the night, I let myself love you wholly and freely. I let myself obsess over how you always smell like strawberries. I let myself admit that I don’t love being a mom but I love you more than anything else in the world. Even more than a clean house. Even more than eating ice cream and watching a whole episode of Gilmore Girls without interruption.

I think about how small you looked standing next to the swirling slide at the park the previous day. How instead of playing on the monkey bars you wanted to know what grass felt like on the palm of your hand or try to pinpoint what was causing the leaves on the trees to rustle.

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You say mama in the dark and nuzzle your face against mind. You pat my face, my arm, and put your fingers in my hair. You kick my stomach as you try to get comfortable between us, and I suddenly remember you kicking me from inside, when we were still one. I remember me wondering what you’d look like or what motherhood would be like. You say mama again and I realize I am your one and only and you are mine.

Our time is fleeting, sweetheart. Soon you won’t be so little anymore. Soon you won’t need me so much. Soon you won’t be my baby. But this. This moment in time in which you are so small I can curl my body around you like a cocoon, letting you sleep in my arms so that you’re not all alone in your room, listening to your sweet inaudible whispers. In this moment you are comforting me. You are giving me a gift, a memory that will stay with me forever.

So when you are older, when you get your wings, I will let you go, and I will cling to this moment. And when the winds pick up and it’s hard to fly, I will be right here, waiting.

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