Hi angel boy. It’s me, mama.
I can feel the lump in my throat begin to swell and the tear ducts begin to widen as I write to you.
In two weeks’ time, you’ll wake up a one-year-old. The time has passed at a seemingly impossible fast pace, and I am in disbelief that you’ve been ours (outside my tummy) for an entire year. These close to 365 days with you have brought more joy to your dad and me than you can even begin to fathom in your tiny, little boy-sized heart.
As I reflect on this past year, I can’t help but remember the times you were sleeping.
While you were sleeping, I would slowly rock with you – back and forth – in our bedtime chair, and I’d sometimes continue to sing our bedtimes songs, long after you’d given in to the powers of the lullabies, which were as much a comfort to me as they were to you. Those times of rocking you were so magical for me, feeling your warm body snuggled up to my chest, knowing you were safe in your mama’s arms. I knew in those moments that I would die without fear if it meant I could protect you and keep you from harm’s way.
While you were sleeping, I would watch your eyelids flutter, wondering what you could be dreaming of. I would think about my own dreams for you and for the full life I know you will live. I often thought about where you would go to school, the friends you would make, and the family you too, would one day raise. I knew in those moments that this newborn stage with you was just the beginning of your beautiful future.
While you were sleeping, I would look up and catch sight of your dad, tip-toeing and peeking around the corner, with a smile and look of wonder on his face, quietly making sure he caught a glimpse of you before turning in for the night. Your arrival helped reinforce the love I have for your daddy in more ways than you will ever know, as together, we learned how to be parents. I knew in those moments that our love for each other was only multiplied by our love for you.
While you were sleeping, through tears of joy and gratefulness, I would pray that God would help imprint these moments in my mind and memories forever, so I could never forget how small and precious you were and how comfortably I could hold you for hours on end. By the dim light of the hallway, I would study every feature on your little body, taking mental photographs of every unfairly beautiful eyelash, the curves of your precious baby lips and the perfect shape of your button nose. I knew in those moments that there weren’t enough minutes in the night or nights in the year to feel like I’d spent enough time with you in my lap in our bedtime chair.
Now, I know that you will still let me cuddle you when you turn one, but that you’ll also be one step closer to becoming a big boy who can fall asleep without being rocked or sang to. I look forward to the nights where bedtime means stories about dinosaurs, slaying dragons in front of castles and what you want to be when you grow up. I truly do! But, my sweet boy, I hope you will remember how much your mommy loves you, know that I will still gladly rock you to sleep, and know that I will always be dreaming of you.