Having passed out with the baby last night in an unplanned and premature bedtime, I find myself awake after being stirred in the wee pre-dawn hours. My son, mildly distraught, pads in through the dark; “Mo-o-om? I-can’t-find-my-Lovey.” As I assure him I know where it is (which of course I do because I Am Mom), half asleep he lets me pull him into bed and lands all the way asleep in my arms. Here is my slice of Heaven. After a spell of holding my son in this blessed, coveted state, the baby begins to stir for her pre-dawn feed. While getting up to pee first I find my husband asleep in a moon bath on the couch where he has haplessly landed after wandering about in his sleep. He obligingly returns his warm, large sprawling body to bed in spite of his mixed feelings about our bed getting crowded, as it is inclined to do these days. With the onset of fall and the coolest night in recent memory, I find my wiggly, hungrily grunting baby’s hands colder than they have ever been, but this is soon rectified by her calisthenic under-cover feeding on tap. There is nothing like lying with a precious pipsqueak pulling at your boob with her face while pushing against your belly with her feet.
Soon I am peacefully ensconced in the bodies I love; the ones whose lives are attached to mine. Long gone is the “lonely woman” of not-so-distant memory, who used to dismay over having no one to Go Home To at the end of a long hard day. Here is the sweet cacophony of my son’s faint snores on my left, in concert with his daddy’s deeper ones on my right. No camera could capture what it feels like to be nestled between these warm bodies, with the baby settled and strewn across my torso no less. (I always say “the best moments happen off camera.”) Soon a small hand -my son’s- lands on my throat, right next to my daughter’s -whose is hooked possessively around a boob per usual. Literally near my heart. Gently I discover I can literally hold both my childrens’ hands in one of mine. AT the same time. Of course this otherwise would never be possible amidst all the wiggling, protestations and sheer kinetic movement of the day. Then I reach for daddy’s in the other.
Why are loved ones so much easier to love when they are unconscious? We devote our lives to creating and caring for our children (and spouse?), then dedicate our time to trying to get them to SLEEP. The day time is so wrought with its harrowing push and pull of needs and friction. But at night time (or during the elusive NAP), there are no negotiations, no admonitions, no protestations, no unfilled needs. Everyone is content. Therefore, so am I.
Why then would I eventually slip out from between those warm bodies, from under those covers, out of that sacred nest, before it’s over, before the sun is even creeping in these dark wee morning hours, in order to BLOG about it? Simple; I document the memories I aim to keep. There is such a comfort in choosing what to hold on to, and letting go of the rest. In the enervating, maddening every day struggle of rearing a family; hauling in the bacon (right?) and getting it on the table (courtesy of my husband God freakin’ bless him) and cleaning it all up and doing it all over again, wiping butts and tidying toys, managing clothes and paying bills, trying to steer the ship and put out fires and maintain some integrity and co-captain with your partner and imagine you are on some kind of course while snatching at your personal passions with sometimes only fleeting glimpses of your sanity… wow. It all melts away when your family is ASLEEP. Warm, safe, secure. At peace. For the moment anyway. That’s why I blog. To remember This.
Besides… I think I hear the baby crying. (And I am not making this up.)