“The cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
For children grow up, as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust go to sleep.
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.”
Caleb has taught me a little something about karma.
When I was a child, I was always a little prickly. I was not generous with my hugs, kisses, or affections, and truth be told, I’m still not. I’m constantly getting teased because of my general distaste for giving hugs and discomfort with compliments.
So now I have a child who is pretty much the same. I can count on one hand the number of kisses he’s given me (three, if you were wondering), and he generally bends backwards and out of hugs, preferring to get down and crawl around on the floor. While he will freely and openly give kisses to the dog and most of his stuffed animals, when it comes to people… not so much. When I pucker up and ask for a kiss, he usually laughs and gives me the hand to push me away. If he’s in a bad mood, he’ll squeal instead, and smack me lightly on the mouth.
Because of Caleb’s stubborn and independent nature, it has become a rare treat to receive his affections; generally, he allows cuddling when he’s either tired or sick, and that’s about it. He’s become increasingly easy at bedtime too, so bedtime cuddles and milk are a thing of the past. Instead, I give him a kiss on the head, tell him good night, and place him in his crib. Whenever he grants me the rare and precious opportunity to snuggle him now, I eagerly snatch it up and realize I need to savor it.
And so I do. Any time, day or night, I need to savor it because these moments have become fleeting.
2 am, Wednesday night (or Thursday morning, depending how you look at it), I woke up to a screaming baby who was up for the next four hours. I stumbled into his room, half asleep and nearly falling on nothing but tired legs. No longer used to sleepless nights, and with an alarm for work set just a few hours out, I would usually find myself in a frantic state, watching the clock, desperate to get him back to sleep at any cost. Instead of getting angry or upset like I used to though, back when sleepless nights were still the norm, I chose to savor it. I chose to rock my baby, whispering in hushed tones that it would all be okay. In that moment, he wanted nothing more than for me to rock him and hold him tight. In that moment, he needed me and nothing else. My baby won’t always need me… not like this, at least… so I’ll let him need me while he needs me; I’ll need him right back. I will be thankful for the moments when nothing else can soothe the tears but me. I will delight in our rocking chair and whispers in the middle of the night.
I will kiss his sweaty forehead, hold him close, and not let go until he makes me.