Today was supposed to be a busy day. One of those days when I think I’ve got the timing all figured out just right so that things will happen exactly as I picture them in my mind: Levi would be at “school”, Calvin would hopefully nap in the car on the way home just long enough to allow me a bit of Mama time to do the myriad of things I need and/or want to do (finish the Easter bunny, organize some paperwork, clean up the back yard…the list goes on.) I could pack my clothes for work later in the day, make lunch for Calvin while he slept so that when he woke up he could eat and have some free time before being strapped back into the car to go pick Levi up and then drop them off at a friend’s house so that I could go to work…phew.
Calvin did end up sleeping on the way home, but woke up shortly after we made it back. I brought him inside and sat with him on the couch. The house was quiet without his big brother romping about or Daddy working in the office. He wanted to nurse, so I cuddled him up and gave him some milk. Soon his eyes began to close and within minutes he was back asleep. Now, many people might think that I could just put him in his crib and he would stay asleep, but this is not the way of my children. They don’t like to be disturbed, moved or transitioned from their slumber in any way shape or form. If I moved him he would wake up and I knew he needed to sleep more. If I stayed put, he would get more of a nap, but I would not get anything done. So it goes.
For the first few minutes I found myself feeling anxious and wondering what to do, but it only took that long before I gave over, for in my arms slept a peaceful child, my baby…the last one I’m going to have. I studied him. I listened to him breathe. I took him in and I relaxed. Really relaxed. I stopped thinking about all that “needed to get done” and focused on the sweet little guy in my arms. I looked at his features…the shape of his head and all the new wisps of hair that have grown; the tiny freckle on the left side of his nose; the curve of his eyebrows and the translucency of the eyelids below them. The hands that reach and grab and pull and clap all day were silent and still and they suddenly looked so big to me. I just watched him sleep and I remembered those days when he was so tiny and would always sleep next to me, on me or in my arms. Where did they go?
These times are fleeting and precious as they pass before us in quick flashes. I couldn’t take a picture of him today, but tucking this memory away with words is just as sweet. My little guy, the one who has me on the go all day was the one who taught me to slow down and just let go for awhile. He reminded me that mothering is so much more than all the things we accomplish in a day; sometimes the important work we do is to stop, listen, watch and breathe…that’s it. This sleeping baby made me focus on what is right in front of me, what is always right in front of me every day. Gratitude and love, gratitude and love…