Still we snuggle, fifteen months old. The rise and fall of my breath rocks you to sleep wherever we are. White sheets of a hotel room, white sheets of home, in a field of butterflies and clover, in a berry bramble as I pick wineberries with you in your wrap. Quiet. Peaceful. You simply fall asleep held near. So it has been since your birth and so it will be for the rapidly passing days of your babyhood. Soon you will do as your brothers each did and peel off in independence, craving your own space more than my closeness.
I can wait it out. And not only wait it out, but savor the moments.
A lump in my throat of happy bittersweet joy, so obvious how time has flown since you were small and new in my arms. Look at how long you are now. How big and strong and independent. I smile at how you melt against me as you give in to sleep. I get to watch your sleepy smiles when you need to be held through your nap. I get to witness how you wake up silent sometimes and just lay there taking in the world around you before you clamber back to me with a smile on your face.
You are not all grown yet. You are not an adult, a teenager, an adolescent, a grade schooler or even a preschooler. You are a young toddler who is still learning much about the world.
I hold you close because right now this is what you need. And I have made this choice to meet your needs with joy and to spend our time memorizing the beauty of ordinary moments.
Oh how I will treasure these memories when you stand before me all grown. And oh how I hope you cherish these moment if you choose one day to hold a sweet little child all of your own.
You will hear many things from many people about the things that you “need” to do. And if you feel those needs strongly, I will support you in whatever way you wish to parent. But if those “need to do’s” run against the grain of your heart.. If you wish to hold your baby near.. It is something for you to cherish, guilt free. You do not have to train your child to sleep. Sleep is something they can learn in the simple easy comfort of your arms. This is how each of your brothers learned, and this is how you learn now as you are small and lovely in my arms.
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