A baby’s head is so perfectly round it was obviously made to be cupped by a mother’s hand. I listen to the slow, heavy, rhythmic breathing. His angelic face is barely visible in the orange glow of the sheep nightlight in the corner of his nursery. His long black eyelashes rest on plump pink cheeks still rosy from nursing. I hold my lips against his little bald head as we rock back and forth, back and forth, swaying to the rhythm of our beating hearts. My grip is so tight that I realize my hands are beginning to ache, but he doesn’t seem to mind. He is fast asleep dreaming whatever it is that babies dream. The heat emanating from where our skin touches causes moisture to form. I continue to rock and listen to the squirting sound of the pacifier as he vigorously pulls on it. The feeling of his weight against my chest, in my arms, in my heart is what I have been searching for my whole life. When I was a young girl I would rock little babies hoping they would fall asleep and I could watch them dream. Unfortunately, my prepubescent bony frame was not the comforting embrace they needed to drift off to sleep. I have been waiting for this and now that I have it I can already feel it slipping away. He’s growing so fast – I rock faster. I can see where the seams of his little striped pajamas are beginning to strain and his long legs are already hanging over the arms of the rocking chair. Before long he will be pulling away from my hugs and embarrassed by my kisses. The remnants of playtime on the floor, a floppy teddy bear casually tossed aside and a towel still damp from bath time calms me again – I slow my pace. For now I can hug him, kiss him, rock him and love him for as long as I want. I know I should put him in his crib, that I will probably regret this later when he wakes me in the night crying, but for now I want to feel his weight against me, his head in my hand and try my hardest to remember every ounce of this feeling. Then when I watch him drive his first car, accept his diploma, and hold his first child I can remember when I sat in his nursery, inhaled his sweet scent and thanked God for bringing this sweet little boy into my life.
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