You sleep beside me because I want you to.
When you’re close I can watch your hands twitch as they find their way to your resting pose- your right hand’s thumb lodges itself in your pouty lips and your left arm raises straight above your head. That’s the sweet spot.
I hope I remember you the way you are right here.
When your breaths grow more and more shallow in the warm summer breeze, your blanket kicked to the bottom of your feet with your bare toes out. That’s just the way you like it.
I hope I remember how small your little ears are, with the crinkle in each of their tops. I hope I remember how you suck on your lower lip, and how your brown hair has turned to blonde, all but in the back.
You’re the baby who can lay down without me, but I choose to keep you close, because our days are so full and time won’t stop.
I hope I remember how you’ve slept in this pose in our big red tent alongside your sisters three times this summer. You, with the sand in your ears and dirt on your toes, exhaling audibly beside us. I hope I’ll remember how the weight of you feels on my chest, climbing hills with you or pumping my feet on the swing, or just doing the dishes with you at the kitchen sink.
You’ll never be so small again.
You’ve been here for four months already, and not once have I written about your evening chats in your rocker chair with your dad, or how your sisters so look forward to seeing your face first as I wake them each morning.You’re our third and life is hectic, but you are cherished and you are ours.
You really do fit here.
And so, it’s one in the morning and I’ve laid you back down to sleep after your first night feed, and I’ll keep watching you for ten minutes more. Because there’s never enough time to breathe you in, to wonder how your features will continue to change right before me, or to ponder who you’ll be.
Will I remember just as it is now, with two boys in my bed?
I hope to.
For now, the night shift is on, and I’m on watch. I am grateful.