Can we just stay like this?

It’s midnight and I’m barely awake, but you’re finding comfort in the warmth of my skin. You’re snuggled up, head on my chest with your mouth open and your breathing is the only thing I can hear.

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Your skin is soft and still has that baby smell to it, which I know won’t last much longer. You’re in the hair loss stage, but there’s still enough for my fingers to stroke on your head as I sing you sweet lullabies.

I can’t carry a tune, but for you I try.

The room is dark, but I’ve been here long enough my eyes can see you. You have this innocent twitch of your lips, emitting a faint smile. I hope you’re having beautiful dreams.

You’re small still, small enough to curl up on me and be held by one hand. You don’t require much besides a warm embrace and milk, basicallyme.

I’ve never been more tired, but I’ve also never felt such purpose.

My heart has never been this full and peace has taken over my entire body.

The chair rocks back and forth for hours. My mind isn’t hurried, my only thought is to continue running my hand over your back in circles to keep you asleep.

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Come morning when the sun rises, I’ll have to share you with the outside world and get other things done. Come morning you’ll have grown ever so slightly.

Bright lights and shuffling city sounds will overpower the sound of my heartbeat. Your eyes will open and gaze around from the comfort of your swing, and I’ll wish you needed me as much as you do here in this moment.

I marvel at you wearing this precious zip-up sleeper. I forget how little you truly are until I fold clothing that has only inches of fabric. You’re still asleep with your little toes dangling across my squishy postpartum belly.

You seem very happy here. I’m happy too. You need me, and I need you.

I won’t get very many more days of being your preferred place to sleep, but here with you is my favorite place to be.

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So can we just rock like this while you sleep?

Can we sit like this together as close as when I carried you?

Can we just stay like this?

Jennifer Bailey

Stay at home mom enjoying one little boy and navigating parenting one trip to Target at a time.