Long live the flour sack days, that short period of time where your whole, warm body melts right onto my chest. Me, breathing in your sweet baby scent of milk and skin. You, eyes squeezed shut and calmed from by nothing more than the rise and fall of my chest. Soon, you won’t fit here.
Long live the peace of cradling you across my forearms. Me, marveling at your tininess as your body rests, slack against me. You, resting so peacefully, fitting so perfectly. Soon, you’ll outgrow my arms.
Long live the feel of the tender curve at the base of your neck. Its hypnotizing smell. Me, tracing my fingertip down its length, my face snuggled into the crook of your neck. You, soothed by the rhythmic caress. Soon, you’ll prefer I don’t have my hand on you.
Long live the swelling I get in my heart—an actual, physical sensation, I swear—when your first smiles start shining like sun from your face. Me, giggling at your gummy grin. You, opening up to the world around you one blink and gurgle at a time. Soon, what you see around you won’t delight you nearly as much.
Long live the middle-of-the-night wake ups, despite the exhaustion in every bone of my body. Me, rousing to the sound of your fusses and grunts. You, eyes filled with sleep but aware enough to flash a peaceful smile when it’s me you see coming to scoop you up in the dark. Soon, you’ll sleep on your own, all night.
Long live the delight I feel at seeing your whole body fit in the sink at bath time. Me, pouring water down your soft back. You, laughing and smashing the bubbles. Soon, you’ll be done with baths altogether.
Long live the tiny clothes, the smell of Dreft, the slobbery chin, the spitup-stained clothes and tiny pairs of socks and soft washcloths and bendy frog legs and the fingernails I’m too scared to cut and the pillow cheeks and never-ever-ever-ending days. And more. All the hard. All the instinctive. All the pain. All the joy. And all the exhaustion and learning and love. (Such love.)
Long live all of it. All of my Nows, that will all too soon become my Back Thens.
But most of all, long live, my sweet baby, the midnight moments we share. The ones that are short in duration, but stretch into eternity in my heart, as I hold you in my arms, rocking you. You, at peace. Me and my heart, full–forever stretched to hold yours inside. Beating together in this moment, together.
Over too soon,