This is how I held you.
Wrapped up, entwined in my arms until you finally gave in to sleep. It wasn’t easy. I tried to wrap you up before this a few times, and you wouldn’t have it. You screamed and cried and wanted to go potty. For the third time. You didn’t want a diaper. You wanted to wash your hands. You wanted to get up. You wanted gum and then Tic Tacs (thanks GiGi and Pops). You wanted baby songs on, and then you didn’t want baby songs on. You didn’t want covers, and then you wanted covers. You wanted water, but only in the pink cup.
When you finally said I could lay down with you, you immediately found your spot.
In my arms, as it always has been. As it always will be.
And in the crook of my arm, our legs tangled just so, you settled. Your breaths slowed, became even, and safety was found. Sleep came.
When you were in my tummy, you did the same. You kicked and flipped, and as my hand lay upon you, my voice speaking to you, you settled. Later as an infant, you lay curled on my chest, full with milk, your ear to my heart, and you settled.
But today, I lay there, holding your tiny body. Imprinting the weight of your legs upon mine. Savoring the small hands on my face. Thanking God for every little piece of you and your brothers.
Earlier today, your 6-year-old brother struggled in his own 6-year-old way. Again with the gum. His big emotions got control over and over, and after the climax before the necessary nap, he found himself falling into my arms. And I held him. I rocked him, long legs overflowing, closer to overtaking my height sooner than I want to believe.
Safety in the arms of a mom who looked him square in the eyes and told him I would love him no matter how many times a day he lost his ever-loving mind. He settled.
Earlier still, your 7-year-old brother smashed his fingers in the door. This one really is almost as tall as I am, but I lifted him in my arms all the same. Hanging on to every last time it happens knowing it may truly be my last. Deep breaths taken, kisses given, and the pain ebbed. He settled.
So, you, my precious third gift from God, lay here, our hearts knocking on one another’s, our breaths flow in and out. Our veins twist and run and flow creating a beautiful painting of life and love and loyalty that nothing can mimic. You, such a vast part of me, and me forever a part of you. You will grow tall like your brothers, but you see, they are still at home in my arms just as much as you are.
The fit is different, the frequency changed, but forever, the beating of their hearts synced with mine. My arms still the soft place they land when the world is hard.
My body will hold each of you until the day I no longer can, and even then, I will try. I will crawl to where you are. I will climb until my legs give out. I will run until I fall, and then I will get up and keep going. Nothing can stop me from loving you. Nothing can stop me from being there for you. Not a thing.
Because I love each of you so very, very much. Always will. No matter what. Until the end of time.