It’s 10:30pm. I sit in my blue rocking chair, holding him to my breast. I gaze at the blond hairs on his round little head, paying close attention to how each is laying against the other. I wonder that he's a blond. I look at his little lashes, laying like shadows against his cheeks as he sleeps. He takes his right hand and grabs my nose, holding it gently, casually as though it belongs to him. It does. I smile and try not to laugh.
As he quietly moves his hand to my chest, I close my eyes, focusing on the feel of his tiny hand against me, just to the left of my heart. I think of each finger, where it lies, and try to sear this feeling into my long-term memory.
We switch sides and he looks for me, with his little lips, even before I am ready. We rock and bond, bond and rock until he loses the battle to sleep. His round little head falls back. He lifts it for one more quick tickle and it falls again against my left arm.
I look at him, his closed eyes, small nostrils and full lips and keep my right hand on his little stomach, feeling his breath – in, out… in, out…
Gently, I rise with him in a deep sleep in my embrace. His trust is complete, his arms falling by his sides, and I lay him, oh so carefully, in his crib, on his belly. His head is turned toward the wall, his little tushy is up in the air, with the octopus saying hello to the ceiling for just a few moments before he settles in.
Again, I leave my right hand on his side to let him (or me) know that he is loved, protected, and cared for. I slowly lift each finger, pinky first, away from him… slowly, for fear of waking him from his soft slumber. I resist the temptation, this time, to lean down and kiss him.
I look at him, see how long he’s gotten, think of just how little he used to be, and wonder how many inches he is now. I know he’s 17 pounds and 4 ounces today. His Abba and I have weighed him before bed.
My feet pad quietly across the room and I wince as the door creaks open, but there is no sound from my dozing little angel. I leave and shut the door behind me, grateful for this fleeting moment. I know that they are numbered. He’s already six months old but I’ll take what I can get – that’s all we can ever do.