Saturday, September 26, 2009

Birthday Present



Last night gave me a gift. I wasn't expecting anything...I mean aside from an exhaustion headache from an all-day shopping excursion. But there it was, just the same:

When I carried Sylas in from the car he fell asleep in my arms. He stayed asleep when I sat down on the couch. He is not a heavy sleeper, so I was astonished when he didn't jump right up and start in on a stream of grouchy whining. I started snuggling him. Then I nuzzled his neck. Then I kissed his head. His cheeks. His nose. He twitched, but slept on.

I closed my eyes and pretended that he was my infant son again. I imagined that his feet didn't dangle past my lap, and I tried to find a patch of skin left on his face that felt soft and squishy against my lips, like it did when he was tiny. The closest I came was the small indentation where nose meets forehead, so I kissed it like there was no tomorrow. And my mind conjured up that familiar newborn baby smell, and I wished there really was no tomorrow.

Between kisses I watched his face. His lips still vacillate between a pout and half-smile while he sleeps, which I didn't know. I hadn't seen him asleep since the last time I nursed him.

Then I looked up to see Saylor at the kitchen table, hard at work on a self-inflicted math equation, scribbling away on a piece of paper. Samera was flipping wildly around the house singing, "She wears high heels, I wear sneakers...na, na, na, na...I'm on the blehchers," and I wondered where all my sleeping babies went. And when would they be back?

(and why, oh WHY, do they know that song?)

And Sylas slept on, despite my sniffling.

Then it occurred to me that it was Sylas' third birthday (we celebrated earlier in the week, so I forgot on his ACTUAL day). And then it all made sense.

And I sent Samera to get me some Kleenex.

And my camera.

And made a vow, before waking my boy, not to take time for granted.

Future, past, or present.

9 comments:

Amy Jason said...

So sweet! Nothing like a sleeping child. Isaac loves to snuggle and still loves me to hold him before I put him in his crib at night. I love it and your post just reminds me that it won't be that way forever! Tonight when I laid him down, I was covering him with his blankets and I said "nigh night" and he just looked at me and waved. :) It was so cute. Love those little moments. Makes all the frustrations of the day seem so lame! I liked your more serious post that made us think and be grateful! I still laughed though, when you said you had forgotten his actual birthday:) Cute picture!

Marianne said...

Oh! That is so sweet! When a child sleeps it somehow magically transforms them back to babyhood and makes you want to eat them up. I love those sweet moments that remind us what's important. Thanks for the sweet post.

Stephanie said...

Beautiful. I thought dreading 30 was the worst, but now that Wesley will turn 3 in Dec, I'm dreading that even more. Not because of the "terrible 3's" (I've been told they're way worse than 2's), but because he won't be a baby any more, but a bona fide little boy. Happy Birthday, Sylas.

Christy said...

I love THOSE moments! I keep thinking Emily might be our last baby, with all my complications, so every morning I just lay there staring at her face kissing her and putting my check against hers. I can't get enough of those moments! I am glad you got to hold your little boy for awhile while he slept in your arms. Your kids are just adorable!

Rozel (a.k.a. Michelle) said...

Beautiful!

It's rare when we get moments of OUR (or yours in this case) reality. Others see what we have and yet we (me, mostly) don't. Generally, I just rush through life without enjoying the moment. On occasion I stop and take in the scenery: me doing laundry, my handy man hanging the mirror. . .so domestic. (Not quit as beautiful as yours but, I do like to nuzzle my nose down in the freshly laundered towels!)

You are a wonderful mother, your kids are blessed to have you!

sharlee said...

Mmm. What a beautiful moment, and captured in words (and film) SO well. I couldn't care for a baby right now if I had one but I still look longingly at them when I happen upon one in public. I have those moments still with Emmett quite often and it actually is more than just remembering him as a baby--it is as if I am remembering who he really is. When I get to hold him when he is trying to drift off he smiles when I kiss him. It's the sweetest thing. And so I smother him with kisses and he just takes it and keeps smiling--eyes shut.

Mardee Rae said...

Thank you. I have really REALLY tried to get myself to enjoy the moment with my kids so little. It's been a little harder than usual lately... this was so sweet and well written. You are such a poet. really.

Higham Family said...

This post will make a great gift for him someday. What child wouldn't love (at the right age) to recieve such a beautiful photo and the thoughts that went along with it.

Debbie and Boys said...

You almost made me cry.