remember spring swaps snow for leaves

Yesterday I carried Ethan in from the car where he'd fallen asleep. He stretched his legs and arms as I unbuckled the straps of his seat but he quickly fell back into a deep sleep as I laid his head on my shoulder and walked him into the house. The days of being able to carry him into the house while he remains asleep are ones that rarely happen anymore, reserved for special occasions where exhaustion reigns and sick days breed sleepless nights that create random midday naps. At the time I didn't think anything of it, his sleepiness, except for the fact that I'd simply gotten lucky in my car-to-crib transfer.

Today proved otherwise, that it was more than just luck but a reaction to a vaccination he had ten days ago. The splotchy, speckled rash and the low-grade fever made their appearances today and because his night was rather sleepless, our day was filled with random naps.

I'd like to say my neurosis only emerges during times of sickness or reason to worry, but that's not the case. I'm guilty of creeping into Ethan's room while he naps just to feel his chest, confirm the rise-and-fall of his breathing, make sure that he's okay and sleeping soundly and comfortably. Not too warm, not too cool, lullabies playing at just the right volume on his stereo. Today was full of these moments not only from a place of neurosis, not only to check the speckled rash on his skin or to ensure he was, in fact, breathing, but from a place of peace and love. From a place of just wanting to savor these moments of watching him sleep so soundly during these brief moments when he's still and calm. Lately he's appeared more grown up than I'm comfortable with, as if I blinked my eyes and now I have this child holding my hand as we walk through the house together instead of a newborn who slept the day away on my chest.

At first I struggled to find the silver lining to a day where our plans to meet Elmo were canceled, a day where red patches and polka dots crept up Ethan's back and legs, a day where a slight fever made Ethan whine with discomfort and not feel like playing but then I found it. I found it in the fact that for the first time in a while, my on-the-go toddler (mind you, this is the first time I've officially referred to him as such and how it breaks my heart!) was still and calm and I was able to watch him peacefully sleep as I did when he was still an infant. And for the first time in an even longer while, we spent hours curled up on the couch under our favorite blanket, munching on slices of a peach and pieces of cheese, laughing and tickling and playing peek-a-boo until the day just slipped away from us.

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