Tuesday, February 24, 2009

In this chair.

Before my son was born, my best friend told me she had something special she was going to give me after he arrived.

It was the book Love You Forever. She wanted to wait till after his birth because she knew it would have even more meaning then. She knew. I would hold his teeny tiny body in this chair, reading it to him, tears running down my face.
It's about a Momma who picks up her baby while he sleeps, and rocks him back and forth,

back and forth

back and forth

And she would sing,
I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

I don't even know when I started doing it, but it's been a long time. It's a special treat just for me. I don't even know if my husband knows I do it.

I'll pick up my sleeping boy, sit in this chair, and rock him back and forth,

back and forth

back and forth

Last night I realized how hard it is getting to get sleeping two-year-old out of his crib. He still bends his arms behind his head and arches his back and stretches, just like a baby. Do you know that stretch? He still does it. And then we settle into the chair and I rock him back and forth.

I stare at him in the dark, and every single time I do it, I remember sitting in this chair when he was days, weeks, months old, staring at that same face in the dark. I sit and stare and time just stops.
Once in a while, his eyes will barely open, a huge smile will come across his face and he'll say clear as day whatever he's dreaming about -- usually Dadda, choo choos or Ho Ho Ho (Santa). I'll laugh so hard and he'll keep smiling and then he'll fall back to sleep.

I sit and wish I could have him back as a baby, just for one day, one hour, one minute. Just to remember. All the while, I'm in the moment, memorizing his face, the weight of his body, his smell. So I don't forget.

But I know in two years, when I'm sitting and rocking my four-year-old, I will think back to when he was two, and I will have forgotten. Don't you wish you could bottle it up?

So I'll just continue my ritual, grabbing my sleeping boy, sitting in this chair, and rocking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

I'll love you forever,
I'll like you for always,
As long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

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