Nap Time: A Letter to Elias

We had a busy morning. Thursday means a rushed “getting ready routine” and not much time for play. We struggled at breakfast because I couldn’t figure out what you wanted to eat. Then just when it was time to put on our coats and shoes you wrapped your little arms around me and held on for dear life. Don’t get me wrong…I’ve longed for such a hug from you since your existence was known only to God. You hugged and hugged, filling my heart to the brim. I was the one to let go first. Can you believe it? That was a first…and then you dove in for more so I just held you and held you and relished the joy.

Somehow we made it on time to art class. We had lots of fun together. Then followed various errands, and story time at the library. We had a late lunch and laughed together at the sounds we could make with our mouths. We looked in wonder at the kitties chasing each other, and clapped at the Christmas Carols that play from the light up houses.

But then it was nap time. We went to your room as normal, but for some reason today you didn’t want to nap. At first I’ll admit I was in denial. Then I got frustrated. “What do you mean, you’re not going to nap,” I thought to myself. “You need sleep. You are going to Grandma’s tonight and you need your rest. All toddlers need rest.” I tried to convince myself that it was because of you that I was so worried about nap time.

Reality check. I wanted nap time. As much as I treasure time with you, I need some Mommy time. I need time for chores and for relaxation. I need a break. So I was feeling a little bit sorry for myself. But as I tasted your tears I realized how selfish I was being. So I made myself stop frowning, and I relaxed. I just talked to you and rocked you and hugged and kissed you. And guess what? I felt your body relax too. I felt your head against my shoulder and your body grow heavier on mine. You did need sleep after all.

After you were finally down in the crib I went about accomplishing a few things….but then I heard your breath over the monitor in my bedroom. I sat down on the bed and just listened. I listened to your inhales and your exhales. Oh, the miracle of each breath. I thought of your eyelashes when your eyes are closed. I thought of the paint on your forehead and behind your ear. I thought of your bare feet and your soft fingers, and your eight teeth that were hidden beneath two soft lips. I listened and thought and listened and thought….until I chuckled and realized that even during my “precious” nap time, I was just spending more time with you.

I love you, my son.

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