Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A time for bonding

The sound of your cries breaks through the wall of my sleep and pulls me back into the conscious world. I pry my eyes open and squint at the clock, barely making out the big green 2:38 am that is staring back at me. I close my eyes for a second more, wondering if it was just my imagination, but you cry out again and I know that I wasn't just dreaming. I haul myself out of my warm cocoon of a bed and pull on my bathrobe, trying but failing to recreate the effect. Your cries are becoming more insistent now and I know that I need to hurry. I stumble down the hall to your room, flicking the light switch on as I go, still more awake than asleep.

I slowly open the door to your room and tiptoe in. The floor creaks under my feet as I cross the room to pick you up out of your crib. As soon as I envelop you in my arms your crying stops, almost as though you know that your need is about to be met, that now that I am here everything is going to be ok. I carry you back across the room and over to a rocker that evokes so many emotions in me, I can't even begin to put them into words.

I open up my bathrobe and put you to my breast, finally giving you exactly what it is that you needed. You latch on immediately and drink with the vigor of one who has just run a marathon, scaled a mountain, or simply spent the last two hours growing while she slept. I close my eyes as I listen to the sounds of you sucking and swallowing, so rhythmic that it's almost musical, so fulfilling that it's incredibly beautiful. I force myself to open my eyes, not wanting to miss a moment, determined to stay awake.

As you slow down your pace and begin to drift off yourself, I gaze in wonder at the perfect little human being that you are. The dim light from the hall illuminates your features in such a way that they appear almost angelic in the glow. I let my eyes wander over the features of your face, the delicate slope of your nose, the curve of your ear, the length of your eyelashes. The contrast that the juxtaposition of your dark hair and your pale skin creates is mesmerizing.

I look down at your tiny hand, fingers splayed across my breast as though holding on to the source of your contentment. I let my mind wander toward thoughts of the future, of what those hands may one day accomplish. I watch the hypnotic rhythm of your chest rising and falling with each breath that you take and my own breath is taken away as I realize that I had a hand in creating the life that is nestled in my arms.

Tears cloud my vision for a while as these thoughts swirl through my mind and when they spill over onto my cheeks, I suddenly realize that you have fallen asleep. Not wanting this moment to end quite yet, I take a little more time to soak in every last detail, making sure to sear this image of you into my memory forever. Then ever so slowly I rise from the rocker and carry you back to your crib, laying you down as gently as I would a porcelain doll. You squirm for a second and then sigh as your body goes slack and sleep envelops you once more.

I tiptoe out and close the door behind me, making my way back to my own bed. I crawl in and curl up into a ball, still feeling your warmth on my chest. I let images of you fill my head as I drift off, knowing that you will soon be calling for me again and feeling joy for the privilege of being the one to sustain your precious life.

Mommy loves you Roxy. Sweet dreams.

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