All morning, my mind bustled with the thoughts of what I was going to do as soon as you laid down for your afternoon nap. I had two writing projects due, I was pretty sure there was some kind of weird mold in the master bathroom that needed to be bleached and scrubbed, and one basket of laundry somehow multiplied into two.
Afternoon came, you nursed to sleep, and I got to work. Forty-five minutes flew by in a blink, and I was making solid progress.
Then, I heard you.
I got in bed with you and held your tiny, 2-year-old hand in mine. I could have snuggled you in a blanket and gotten back to work, but instead, I cuddled.
I touched your feet and thought about how much they’ve grown. I closed my eyes and remembered the first wobbly step you took the day before you turned one. I remembered when the doctor pricked your heel for your first blood test when you were three days old, and how I suddenly understood what my mom meant when she told me shots had hurt her more than they hurt me.
I smelled your hair, trying to find the baby scent that left long ago. I felt your silky curls tickle my nose, and I wondered how long it would be until those went the way of that delicious baby smell. I thought about how your hair has turned from brown to almost white and back to brown again. I felt the dampness of your sweaty head, a hallmark of your perma-warmth you must have gotten from Daddy.
I felt your soft fingers wrap around mine, and I closed my eyes, drifting back to the first time I felt your tiny hand pitter-patter on my chest as I welcomed you to the world and studied your face. I remembered being mesmerized by the softness of your skin and telling your daddy there was no way all babies were as soft as you.
I wrapped my arms around your squishy little body, growing faster than my mind wants to admit.
I felt the rhythmic rise and fall of your belly and remembered the panic I felt when you were a month old. I had woken up at 4 a.m. and panicked because you weren’t in your bassinette. I couldn’t find you, and I thought my heart was going to implode. When I realized you were on the other side of me, as we had both fallen asleep while you were nursing, all was once again right with the world.
My sweet boy, I know the days of you asking me to cuddle are numbered, and I promise you, I will savor every single chance I get to snuggle up close and just be with you, in all your toddlerhood glory. They say the days are long but the years are short. While this may be true, the beauty of the long days is that we get the chance to spend some of our moments snuggled up, just like this. Our days can be busy, but there will never be anything more important than taking sweet moments to simply be next to you.