Posted January 12, 2012 by
You woke up from a nightmare at 5:30 this morning and your dad brought you into bed with us. You curled and shifted and pressed against me, whispering in my ear and twisting and turning until your warm, little body finally went still and your breathing evened out, my arms wrapped tight around you. I held onto you and listened to you sleep.
I love these moments with you more than anything, curled as close as we can be, still and peaceful and quiet. Then you and your father were both sleeping, on either side of me, and I lay awake for a while, listening to you breathing. Light crept through the blinds and I thought about how there will be a time, probably not too far from now, when I’ll miss these moments. You’ll grow and stretch away from me, finding your own way into the world, finding other warm spots against which to rest, other arms to hold you tight.
I thought about being a teenager and how I felt about my own mother. We hugged and were affectionate, but at age 17 I didn’t remember the closeness we once shared, surely identical to that I have with you now. I never could have imagined my body flush against hers, breathing and quiet and together. But I know now that she remembered, that she probably held those memories and moments dear, that she probably looked at my lanky, adolescent form and sometimes wished for me to be a child again, just so that she could hold me close.
I wish now that I had let her. Especially at the end.
I know that there will be a time when you are just as I was. There will be a time when you do not remember this time, when you do not crave my arms around you. And when that time comes, I will tell you about now and show you this letter. And you’ll roll your eyes at me and I’ll smudge away the tears smarting in my own, and I’ll pull you close anyway.
Just as my mother did.