You just fell asleep in my arms nursing while I read you one of my favorite books – Wherever You Go My Love Will Find You by Nancy Tillman. Your eyelids got heavy, and you closed your eyes as I read this passage: 

In the green of the grass…in the smell of the sea…in the clouds floating by…at the top of a tree…in the sound crickets make at the end of the day…

“You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,” they all say. 

I watched you drift from awake to at rest, watched your eyes flutter closed once or twice before you decided to keep them shut and drift to dreamland. Your hand still moved around your hair and your face as it often does as you try to settle and rest. It brushed hair out of your eyes, I helped, and then it settled on my chest, your warm fingers resting against me, curled in relaxation. You are purely at peace; you are pure peace. 

I walk you to our bedroom, all 27 lbs of you, remembering when you weighed only 10, and I paced the hallway with your sweet newborn body against mine, and your hands and legs splay out in comfort. Your lips are beautiful and big, gently pursed. I lie you down in your twin bed that’s pushed up against our king. I watch you squirm for a second as you settle. I shimmy down your pajama top to cover your belly and snuggle you up with a blanket. I take a moment to look at you before I sneak away.

You just turned two a couple weeks ago. Two years ago, we had a two week old. It’s cliche to say, but it does feel like yesterday in some ways. And in some ways, it feels like we are an eternity and lifetime away from that time. But it doesn’t change that I know you – your bones, your gestures, your eyes. The looks you give and the things you need. And you take my breath away. 

We are coming off of 4-5 ish weeks of intense sleep resisting and staying awake for long stretches of time (8-9 hours after your nap). You get really tired, and then something happens where you push sleep away and push me away, and it’s so hard to know how to help you. You often break down in tears, and I know your body wants to rest and can’t for some reason. I try to be your container; I try to show that you can thrash and rage, and I’ll be here to hold it all. But it’s hard. And sometimes I get very frustrated because I’m exhausted, and I’m on round 4 of thinking you’re going to close your eyes, and my body is desperate to rest. But mostly I’m able to just be. For you. To know that it’s temporary and that you’re struggling and that you need me to show you you’re safe. To remind you that I’ve got you. No matter what. What a crushing and exciting responsibility that always is. In my pandemic-tired bones, it feels more crushing than exciting these days, which I lament and rage against myself and the world. If not for these circumstances, I know I’d have more to give. And yet. Here we are. Doing our best. I remind myself that most of the time, I am what you need, and I show up with strength I’m not sure how I found. But there it is. For you. Because I look at your face and your wondrous eyes, and I just want to be everything you need so you can focus on who you are in safety and SOAR. 

I love you, my baby.

Written March 16, 2021

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