The Wee One caught a small cold last week. His nose has been pretty runny and he has a cough too. Always the trooper, he’s been in mostly good spirits and sleeping pretty well for being sick.
This past weekend he went down for his second nap as usual around 2 PM. He woke up crying and upset at 3 PM so I went in and scooped him up. I took him into my bedroom and we laid down together, his head on my shoulder, seemingly still tired but I could hear McKenna pawing at the patio door to come in. Drat. I carried my little guy with me to the great room to let our dog in thinking this would fully wake him up, but he stayed snuggling me close. I took this as a sign to go back to his nursery and sit in the glider. His head on my shoulder, his breathing labored, he fell asleep almost instantly.
It was an oddly profound moment for me, sitting in the mostly dark room, speckled with hot rays of sunlight that were peeking through the curtains. It was very quiet except for his breathing thanks to a plugged nose. I held him tightly, hoping he would give me more than five minutes of this bliss and in the end he gave me almost 45.
I don’t get as many cuddles as I used to now that The Wee One is on the move and he never falls asleep on me anymore, so it hit me, my baby is growing up. He started walking this weekend. I tried my darndest to get a video but failed miserably multiple times (I’ll keep working on it). He’s been taking a few steps here and there for a week now, but in the past few days we had full-blown walking from point A to point B before falling to the ground. He is still very unsure most of the time and prefers crawling or using his walker, but he gets more adventurous each day and you can tell it’s only a matter of time before he’s running ahead of us. He is insanely cute. For a while, he misinterpreted The Scottish and I’s clapping as praise for him falling to the ground when we were really clapping because he was taking steps unassisted!
Holding my son while he slept that Saturday afternoon felt so important. There wasn’t anywhere else I should be in the world. Everything around me stopped, even my mind was quiet for a short time. I sat there, rocking him, cradling the future in my arms, the hopes and dreams of a small life just beginning. Naturally I didn’t dare wake him since he desperately needed the extra sleep, so I wept silently while the words formed in my head for this exact blog post. It might sound weird but more often than not I don’t choose the sappy stories I share here, they come to me.
After about 20 minutes I started to get restless and almost wished he would wake up, but I dismissed that thought almost immediately because all I could picture was my 18-year-old son leaving the house for college and how close that is to happening. Once a child is born, the world speeds up and they are on a fast track to independence. It is hard to slow them down.
The Wee One slowed down for me that afternoon. He gifted me a special moment, a lifelong memory. He let me hold him, breathe him, and shield him from the world. He let his guard down, he left his agenda of playing and eating to peacefully sleep on my shoulder.
No one can prepare you for how difficult and scary motherhood can be. No one can prepare you for how much you’ll worry or how little sleep you’ll get. Thankfully, in the same vein, no one can prepare you for how absolutely, intensely you will love them. It’s like living in and falling in love with a whole new universe. You know nothing of what’s ahead but it’s so new and magical you can’t ever imagine leaving.