Tuesday 15 January 2019

Dear Eli

Dear Eli, please never grow up.

We were hanging out together the other day in the rocker in your nursery. You'd just woken up (a little too soon) from your nap completely inconsolable. I picked you up and brought you over to the rocker, nestled you in and shhhed you while stroking your head until you calmed and fell back to sleep. With your stomach against my stomach and your head against my chest I listened to your soft little snores. Your head tilted just enough so I could stare at your handsome little face. Your mouth open slightly and your eye lids twitching as you sunk down into sleep. I felt this overwhelming hope that you will never grow up. That you'll stay exactly as you are in this moment forever. I can't imagine the day when you won't need me to fall asleep against when you're upset, or when I go to pick you up and you actually push me away and try to get down (luckily we aren't there yet). I can't imagine the day when you eventually meet someone that you choose to talk to about all the good and bad things in your life that you previously came to me and your dad about. I know it'll come, but for right now if you could just promise to stay exactly as you are.

Knowing that this cannot be forever, I soak it up. Although this isn't a daily routine, when it does happen I count my lucky stars. I breathe in the smell of your little head and focus on the way your weight feels against me. Your father wishes so badly that you would do this for him. Alas, the cuddles are only for mama and, although it sounds selfish, I couldn't be happier about it. Don't worry though, you do enjoy your father's company more than mine when he's home.

Although it is so easy to do, I try not to look to the future beyond what is necessary. I don't want to miss a second of my time with you at this age. I love that you are now figuring out how to scoot your way across the kitchen floor to land at my feet and play with the buckles on my slippers while I prep, bake, or do dishes. My heart immediately melts when I feel you below me grabbing at my legs and head butting me with your mouth open to give kisses. Nothing in my life has ever made me feel so content, at ease, and as though everything is as it should be. With your sibling on the way, I do need to admit that I am just a little sad about our short time together with you in this stage of your life. I know though that a new baby will launch us into and new and equally exciting stage of life and that we will find space in our growing hearts for that little person.

Despite my intense hope that you'll never grow up, I am continuously surprised by how much I love each of your developmental stages more than the last. I thought the 3 month mark was definitely my favourite, but no then the 4th or 5th or 6th, etc. month marks were definitely definitely my favourite. I swear that right now you are the best you'll ever be and we can just go ahead and freeze time. But I've had that feeling all along. When you first smiled the whole world stopped. It stopped again when you played in your swing, the jolly jumper, when you sat up, when you started babbling, eating solid food, and started scooting. In a way the whole world has stopped or it keeps turning without me really noticing. Which has been both such a treasure and totally terrifying. I'm afraid I'll wake up one day and you'll be a teenager. All the sweetness you are now will I'm sure will still be there along with a few other personality traits... And knowing that this fear is absolutely a reality makes me cling to those rocking chair moments all the more. Seeing though how each month the little ways you reach out for me or smile at your father or react when we play with you helps me to know that as time clicks by, you will grow more love in my heart than I knew could exist, you will show me more of life then I've ever seen before, and you will teach me more about being a parent and loving a child then can ever be articulated in text.

Dear Eli, please never grow up.

- Katie

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