We lie in bed, cuddled close, just the two of us, the way it used to be. The way it was before your brother burst into the world purple and crying and your world was rocked. I like to think it was rocked in a good way, at least most of the time, though I think you’d have occasion to disagree. We dive under the covers, giggling in the soft halo of sunlight through your new pink blanket, and yell at Alexa to play the Moana soundtrack. You roll over, dropping your head into the crook of my arm and sigh a little happy sigh. I lie back, stare at the ceiling and absently stroke your hair. There is so much to get done…yet another busy day in a string of busy days, and I am bone tired. My mind skims through the ever present mental checklist. Kids bathed. Check. Photo ready. Half our family of four is dressed so that gets a half check. Kids fed. Shit. That’s what I forgot. I look at the clock and try to force myself to move but the stillness beckons. There has been no stillness this Christmas. There has been rushing and laughter and frustration and pure happiness but stillness? No. Stillness has been noticeably absent. I am generally a bit of a whirling dervish feeding on the energy of the season and others but today my soul feels as tired as my bones. I allow myself to sink deeper into the mattress, to hold you just a bit closer and smell your freshly cleaned hair. I remember the stillness in those hours after you were born when the doctors had left and the visitors hadn’t yet started to trickle in. You, me and your dad. Quiet. Alone and in awe of this miraculous being, once a ball of cells and now a perfect, living, breathing human. In that still moment we drank in your face, your smell, the feel of your tiny wrinkled fingers and we were full.
You notice me staring and giggle again. “We should start thinking about getting ready here, kiddo,” I say as brightly as I can, desperately hoping we can stay here just another moment. Just one more, still moment.
You smile your brilliant, contented smile, drop your head back on my shoulder and sigh, “Not yet mommy.” We return to the stillness, letting it sink into our bones just a little longer. “I love you mommy.”
“I love you baby.”