Dear little one,
You are just 3 months old. A whisper, really, and it was just yesterday that I birthed you in the dim candle-lit room with loud bellowing and moaning. You gave me a hard time in your entrance to the world, but you were a breeze from then on. A good sleeper, unlike your older siblings when they were babes.
Tonight I sit in the big recliner in the living room with darkness all around and the light of the computer screen. You have your first cold and you can’t breathe when I lay you down. Oh how heart-wrenching it is to hear you try to breathe and swallow, knowing just how horrid a head cold feels (your mama despises them). You cough and snort and choke and flail your head around my chest as you struggle. The house is silent and listening to your adorable-if-they-weren’t-so-sad snores.
So you’ve been in my arms since around 7pm. I have a touch of heartburn due to the fact that I had bread at every meal today (scandalous, since we try to avoid most grains in general, let alone store-bread), and supper was take-out pizza. On the side I have an generous helping of mom-guilt. Should I be avoiding gluten? dairy? soy? civilization at large? Did I not wash my hands enough? too much? What if I’d gotten him more sun and vitamin D? Maybe it’s my fault. It’s probably my fault. Isn’t it always the mom’s fault?
I tried to sleep in the chair while holding you, with my pillow and blanket and the whole shebang, but my mind wasn’t cooperating and my body craved horizontal, so I gave up and decided to write to you. Here we sit together, typing awkwardly with your wee little warm body snuggled up over top of my heart.
I kiss your head and know that you are slightly feverish without needing to fiddle with a thermometer. I should know – I kiss that head at least hourly, probably more. It’s a touch warmer than usual, and I’m guessing 99.4 or so.
You won’t even settle in your swing, and so while you make squeaking and whimpering noises in the dark, I run to go pee, grab a glass of water, and a slice of cold pizza, because I’m hungry and I should be sleeping right now and my body is confused. I secretly hope that you will stop squeaking so I can lay down on the couch and sleep, but the squeaks turn to whimpers and pitiful cries and so I scoop you up and kiss your warm forehead until you do that quivering breath thing that you do right before the deeper sleep comes.
I’ve heard that these days fly by and they grow so quickly and to cherish it all. I believe it (though I wouldn’t mind if these sick days passed just a little bit faster). I must be accustomed to chronic sleep deprivation, because I survived today on only a few hours of sleep, and I’m sure I can do it again tomorrow. The sexy pilot-man that brought me a grande starbucks cappuccino on his way home from work today sure did help.
You, dear soul, are a gift. If only the world knew just how soft you are. How I kiss your eyebrows and cheeks and ears and wonder if this isn’t the very pinnacle of all of the good things in the world that God created. If only they knew, they’d be willing to stay up all night holding you too.
I don’t mind so very much sweetheart, and when you’re 15 and reading this letter and wondering if I really truly love you (because I’m kind of afraid that I’m going to suck at raising teenagers), just know this: you are worth it because you are loved.
Fiercely, irrevocably, and completely. I love you right down to your guts and I’ll never ever stop.
Now, let’s wake up that Daddy of yours. It’s time for a shift change.