Moments Like This

It is 1:00 a.m. when I hear the cries of my five-month-old through the baby monitor. With a reluctant groan I peel myself out of my warm cocoon and stumble down the hall to his room. He is laying in his crib, eyes wide open, and wiggles a happy greeting when he sees me. 

I find his pacifier and stuff it in his mouth, my warm bed calling out to me. He cries and spits it out with the force of a trajectory. I stuff it back in. "Oh come on, I even gave you rice cereal," I say, remembering how he excitedly gobbled his first cereal at dinner earlier that evening. I know he is not hungry.

I stand holding the binkie in his mouth with one hand, and holding his chubby little hand in the other, a trick that will often lull him back to sleep. But his protests get louder, and fearing he will wake the whole family, I pick him up.

I take my place with him in the rocking chair. He is wiggling with excitement again when he sees I have the nursing pillow. He latches on, and I settle in, thinking about how tired I was the previous day, and how much I have to get done today - the school papers that need to be signed, the gift for the student teacher who is leaving this week, the haircut appointments that need to be made, swimming lessons to attend, the dinner to plan, tidy up the house before the cleaning lady arrives, the ever-present mountain of laundry.

He is not actively nursing; rather snuggling as close as he can to me, using my breast more as a pillow. The room is quiet, void of the nursery music that is usually playing when any of my five babies slept. I watch him drift off to sleep again, and realize he just needed the reassurance that Mommy is here. He needed warmth and comfort, and wanted it from me.

He falls back on the pillow, sound asleep, and instead of putting him back to bed right away, I stare at his sweet baby face. I study his long, dark eyelashes, his full, red lips, his tiny nose.  I stroke his chubby cheeks and rub his fuzzy baby head. I examine all of his little fingers. I smile at him. I soak it all in.

It's moments like this that I cherish, and I know, as every mom knows, they are over all too soon.

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