Sigh

I hear you wake on the monitor. A coo, at first, followed by fussing. I lay in bed, waiting to see if you put yourself back to sleep.

You do not. I look at my clock to check on the time.

3:38. I have to be up in two hours. I get out of bed, and I sigh.

I make my way into your room. You’re on your back, and your pacifier is beside you. I roll you to your side and put the pacifier back in your mouth. I give you your stuffed fox and wait to see if sleep takes you.

It doesn’t. You roll back, look at me and whine. You’re not going back down without a fight. I pick you up from your crib, and I sigh.
I carry you over to the glider, sit, and begin gliding back and forth. It makes a soft whooshing noise in the darkness of your room. You begin to squirm and cry. I stand up and start bouncing you and you quiet down. I sigh as you fight me.

Bouncing always puts you to sleep. You struggle a bit more before your limbs begin to hang, your tiny hand no longer flailing about and seeking something to grab. I sit back down with you in the glider and we rock.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh; accompanying the sound of the air conditioning running in the apartment. I sit and rock you, waiting for the right time to put you down and head back to sleep.

And suddenly…. you sigh. A sigh of perfect contentment and love. You snuggle your face against my chest and you succumb fully to sleep. I cannot make out your face in the dark but I look down at you anyway. I’m suddenly hyper-aware of you; the weight of your body against mine. The way your pajamas feel against my skin… I find your hand and kiss it. You sigh softly again, and I realize that this is but a fleeting moment as time hurtles by us with breakneck speed. I have waited for the day when you no longer cry out in the middle of the night needing comfort because it will mean a full night’s sleep, and I realize that soon, those days will be here and this evening will be but a tiny drop of water in an ocean of time, and memories. When I am old, and you are grown, will I remember the whoosh of the glider, the hum of the air? Will I remember the warmth of you, the way you felt in my arms on this night? Will I remember the sound of you breathing in and out, the feel of your fingers curling through my hair as you fell asleep?

I sigh. This time with tears in my eyes and I hold you close. I am taken by the urge to hold you until the sun comes up, until I am forced to wake you for the day…. To hold you forever. But we both need our sleep, so I rise from the glider and settle you back down into the bed that you were once so small in. The bed that you grow into more and more each day. I look down at my baby, (it seems like yesterday just came into this world), and I say a silent thank you for coming into my life and making me your mother.

It’s all about these fleeting moments in time.