I am kind of afraid that my baby is growing up. ok, terrified is a better word. From the moment he was laid on my chest – all gooey and still connected – his babyness has filled my heart, finding and filling even the most distant, crooked corners. I knew when i felt sadness as he outgrew his first “newborn” outfit and when i didn’t want to throw away his umbilical cord scab – even though it had fallen off a week ago – that i had a long road of “letting goes” in front of me.
Since then, there have been many. There was smiling, laughing, rolling over, pinching, sitting up, solids, and his first tooth. sure, all these things are new and different ways that i enjoy and discover this little person atticus. but they are also mile markers, marking the distance covered towards big boy – dom. each step is a reminder that i cannot freeze his gummy smile, chubby thighs, dimpled hands, chocolaty smell (no lie – he smells like chocolate!), silly games, and simple dependence and keep them in my pocket forever.
but tonight – thank you God – is not a letting go night. tonight i still have a baby. it’s silly and o so little, this thing that is giving me joy….
about a week ago, i got this hunch that it was time to stop swaddling atticus while he sleeps. i had snuck a peek while he was sleeping and found him totally unwrapped and laying on his stomach. i googled “when to stop swaddling a baby” and found that many people had stopped much earlier than this. he will be 9 months this tuesday, after all. so, with “my baby’s growing up” sadness in my heart, i started putting him to sleep with just his pajamas.
but, alas, he screamed and screamed in protest. he had trouble staying asleep. he couldn’t keep his paci in. he was cold. so i wrapped him again today to see if he would do better….smiles. coos. sucking. cuddling with returned blankie. talking to sleep. and staying asleep.
and so tonight we returned to our happy routine of reading, wrapping, singing. arms pinned down tightly, atticus burrowed his only free appendage – his face – into mine. he giggled with delight to be back in his womb-like conditions and i giggled with delight right back. for now – tonight at least – my baby is not going anywhere. he is where he began – wrapped tightly, needing his paci, and needing his mama. hmm…. i drink this in like a hot cup of tea before the water gets cold.
sometimes, late at night, like tonight, i cannot resist the urge to watch him sleep….
and sometimes, like tonight, i wake him up. oops.