I have to type with just one hand. I’m propped up on two pillows, and a cushion under my left elbow. My phone is playing a continuous loop of white noise that sounds like torrential rain outside an open window.
In the crook of my left arm, sprawled across my body, warm and snoring, is my boy. We came to bed early, and of course he fussed as soon as I tried to sneak him down into his bassinet beside the bed. It’s frowned upon by certain circles, but most nights we both sleep better just as we are now – cuddled together in my bed. What an absurd notion that I would be oblivious to him while I sleep, that I might smother him and not know. I feel his every breath.
He giggles in his sleep, and resumes his usual noisy breathing. My heart is grabbed with ferocious love.
These long nights together have been like that a lot. I’ve groaned and wanted to hide when he has cried, and then scooped him up in my arms and watched him nurse, his little head outlined in gold by the night light glow, and wanted to freeze this moment forever. The nights are long and broken, but there is a magic to them.
Bringing my computer with me has been a recent thing, I needed to get some work done and my only chance is late at night or early in the morning. Most of the time though, it has been just us, in the dark.
It is at night when I hold him between my palms that I imagine the grown man he will become. When his tiny fingers grasp one of mine, I imagine what his adult hands will look like. I wonder what he will choose to do with them. Perhaps a horseman, a musician, a hard worker like his father. Perhaps not. I hope he will still hug his mama.
I wonder who else in the world is awake just like us, and I feel connected to all of those other mamas and their babies who are in the dark together. I wonder if they feel their baby breathing on their skin like I do now. Do they have the same urge to lean down and kiss that tiny hand that rests just under their collarbone?
And then I shut away those thoughts like closing the lid of a laptop, and I look down at him. I look until my eyes burn. I want him etched in my memories, this beautiful little boy. I look at him and I am so happy to be here with him. Just us, in the dark.