4.02.2012

oh the warmth in your eyes swept me into your arms

At a little over nine months old, Ethan isn't nearly close to sleeping through the night. It can seem burdensome, having a baby who isn't even close to sleeping through the night consistently, and sometimes it is. But mostly it isn't. Mostly it feels like making the most of the last moments I have to cuddle with him quietly in the dark before he is too old to need us to rub his back in order for him to fall back to sleep.

With eyes closed, he reached a tiny hand out for me and settled it on my chest. Mommy's here. His soft, gentle breathing paired with the faintest tinge of that lingering RSV rattle (his pediatrician had told me the day he was diagnosed in November that I would never be able to not hear that sound -- so right she was!), the crash of waves along the shore playing from his sound machine. His room is cool and calming and together we sit in the glider, with me gently rocking him back to sleep. His head lays just under my left shoulder and his body wraps around my lap, his legs dangling over my right knee. Looking down at my slumbering child, I see that he is just that: a child, a big boy in big boy pajamas adorned with tigers playing basketball and a mismatched shirt because putting the laundry away in a timely manner is not one of my best qualities.

Over his dresser, there is a framed photograph of the three of us taken when Ethan was just one month old. His legs are scrawny, his cheeks are plump and he is half-asleep as he sits in the nook between my husband and I. He is so tiny, his legs dangling from his safe place in our arms. I stared at the photograph through the darkness as we rocked and tried to make sense of how Ethan was once so tiny or, really, how he so quickly got so big.

I am planning Ethan's first birthday in my head while rocking him in the same glider I've rocked him in since his first days at home after he was born. It is almost cruel how quickly time can pass and for that, I am thankful for these little wake-ups. Thankful that he still needs to know that I am there, thankful that all it takes is his hand resting upon my chest or me rubbing his back to make him feel safe and secure.

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